Christmas is a special but busy time of the year. Preparing Christmas gifts, hosting family and friends, buying plane tickets, cooking for a dinner party, baking cookies, shoveling snow, these are just a few of the things which can fill a December schedule. However, even with all the business, Christmas is a time of giving. For those of us who have been blessed with much in this life, often we want to be able to give back to our communities and assist those who may need a helping hand during the holiday season. Here are a couple of useful ways you can give back this Christmas.
Volunteer in a local soup kitchen
With the temperatures getting colder soup kitchens become more and more frequented. People are in need of a hot meal and a warm place to stay for a couple of hours and so they most often visit their community soup kitchens. While the influx of people is welcomed often the help can be stretched a bit thin. Volunteering your services can be a major blessing to the soup kitchen staff as well as the visitors themselves.
Donating blankets or coats
People who are without shelter during the winter months can suffer greatly in the cold temperatures. These individuals often seek the assistance of charity or church programs who may have extra coats or blankets to offer them. Most Americans have extra jackets and blankets they never use year after year. Consider donating these this Christmas. Ask churches or second hand stores if they are planning a coat or blanket drive. If they aren’t consider hosting one yourself and then ask a local church or charity if they would help you distribute them.
Operation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas child is the most well known Christmas gift box organization within the United States however a Christmas box can be donated privately through many charity organizations or through a local church. Many children throughout the world receive no gifts on Christmas. A Christmas box can not only give them something to open and look forward to, but also give them items they may need such as a toothbrush, hat and gloves or pencils. Putting together a Christmas box can be very affordable and an excellent way to help a child at Christmas.
Food banks or meal donation
Food banks are always seeking donations especially during the holidays, as meals become such a big part of spending time with family. Canned corn, cranberry sauce, green beans, peas and carrots or powdered mashed potatoes are just a few of the holiday items which those in need could really benefit from at Christmas. Another option is to donate an entire meal to a family in need. Many grocery stores or churches will take your donation whether it be just money or the items themselves, and distribute them close to the holiday. This gives families the opportunity to have a nice hot meal cooked on Christmas Eve or Christmas day.
All of these methods of giving-back this holiday are very simple and inexpensive however they can have a major impact on the lives of people who can use a little extra help.