If you’re like me, scheduling anything during the holiday season is virtually impossible. I shop, I bake, attend school concerts, and pray that I get it all done.
But in the hustle and bustle, I have to remember that there are more people on this planet that struggle to have the smallest things during the holiday season versus those who have more than enough. So I love to gather my kids and do a few things during the season that give back to our community. After all, the time we take to do that could make all the difference in a family’s holiday!
If you’re not sure how you can give back to your community, I’ve put together five easy ways to give back during the holidays. Do you have a special way you and your family give back? Share it in the comments below!
Are you looking for more ways your whole family can give back? Check out 5 more holiday giving opportunities!
1. Donate to the food pantry
The holiday season is a great time to not only clean out your pantry, but to fill someone else’s. Local churches and pantries take food all year round, but donating around the holidays can give someone a meal they could not have had before.
Make sure items aren’t expired — canned foods do best. However, cereal, pancake mix, and rice are also great donation items. The girls have already taken cans to school to donate with them, but we’ll be loading up a box and getting it to the food pantry, as well!
2. Donate gifts to a local Boys & Girls Club
As a blogger, I’m blessed to receive many things that I get to review. Add that to birthdays, the holidays, and just because and I have more than enough stuff in this house for my kids.
As a young girl, before my adoption, we had nothing. There were no birthday gifts or holiday gifts. So I like taking the time to donate new or even gently used items. This year we have everything from a bike to dolls to board games to donate.
Find a local Boys & Girls Club near you and donate your gently used toys.
3. Make meals for the elderly
I think we all get caught up in doing for the children during the holiday season, however a lot of the elderly who live alone are sort of left to their own devices.
Recently, a woman in our neighborhood was widowed and, while I saw a lot of cars at her house when it happened, there are not as many now. So I’m going to have the girls help me make some meals — some she can freeze and pop in the oven later — so she gets a little love this holiday season! Take moment and find an elderly person around you. When you do, talk to them and learn what they need. It could be just a weekly visit. The holidays are a great time to show some love.
4. Help in a soup kitchen
Our community feeds the homeless and less fortunate every year during the holidays. I think my girls are old enough now that they could really help. Even if they can’t serve, they can help clean up, get napkins for people, and even refill drinks. And they can smile.
Some of the people coming to eat haven’t been smiled at in a long time, so my girls can certainly help in that way. Plus, it teaches them a very valuable lesson in doing for others who need it most!
Find a Salvation Army soup kitchen near you and take your kiddos to volunteer.
5. Mail a card to the military
As we all sit down with our families to enjoy the holidays together, let’s not forget about those who are overseas serving our country. In their family’s home, there’s an empty chair. There are a lot of ways to mail cards overseas, but did you know that you can go to your local armed services office and drop off cards for the military community? They can go to veterans, families, and wounded warriors. Sometimes the littlest thing can show them we care!
Plan your community thank you’s like you do your meals and presents for the ones you love. Make it a priority and know that the smallest things can lead to the biggest smiles!