It's the Season of giving, and what better way to start off day 20 of the 25 Days of Holiday Cheer Series then to talk about some great ways to give more than just a tangible gift this year to someone in need.
Here are 5+ ideas of great ways to give more this holiday season. Looking for charities to donate to before the year's end? I have also linked some great ones below.
1. Don’t forget about the old and the young
Nursing homes can be some of the loneliest places for people during the holidays. If you have the time, contact one near you and arrange a visit. You can even bring little gifts if you’d like to give those you visit. It doesn't have to be fancy, maybe just a cozy pair of socks, a great holiday book, or something handmade with love by your kiddos. Even just taking a holiday card or two would be nice. If you do have children and the nursing home allows, bring them along. The residents will absolutely light up when they get to talk to and see those adorable little faces.
The holiday season can be such an exciting time for children. I know we all have those fond Christmas morning memories of unwrapping that perfect and longed-for toy from Santa. But for so many children and families out there, the holidays are a reminder of financial struggles. We easily take for granted material things during the season’s celebrations. If you have it in your heart and in your budget this year, think about donating to a family in need. Give gifts to organizations like Toys for Tots or sponsor an Angel on your local Angel tree. Find local shelter’s and orphanages in your area and ask them what they are in need of this year. There are children's charities with links to donate listed at the bottom of this post if you’re interested.
2. Send a Christmas card (or two) to a soldier, the local police department, or your closest fire station. I mentioned this on my holiday bucket list post as well. Our military as well as those who serve our community do so much for us all year long, and most are away from their families during the holidays. Send a festive card of thanks to as many as you'd like this year
3. Do something thoughtful for a neighbor. Will your neighbors be traveling this holiday while you stay home? Offer to pick up any boxes or mail off their porch, keep their yard tidy, tend to their pets, or just keep an eye on the house for them. It’s the little gestures like this that make a huge difference and can ease someone else’s stress during the holiday season.
4. Lend a hand or a blanket to our furry friends. Animal shelters and organizations need our help year-round, however during the winter months when the temperatures get colder and the volunteers get busier, they could use an extra helping hand or two. Even if you do not have the time this season to devote to volunteer work, think about donating food, blankets, dog beds, or even just some good ole cash. You’re local animal saviors and the furry little babies they care for will be so grateful.
If you’d like to donate to some great animal charities and shelters but don't know where to start, here are a few that are near and dear to my heart:
C.A.R.E - A nonprofit group advocating for the lives of dogs in the San Antonio area that are facing immediate euthanization by providing foster care and pet adoption services.
Eastwood Ranch Foundation - Is a Southern California animal welfare and rescue organization founded by the daughter of Clint Eastwood, Alison Eastwood. They rescue domestic animal from high kill shelters in California.
ASPCA - The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is an international not-for-profit organization was the first humane society to be established in North America, and remains one of the largest and most impactful animal welfare organizations in the world today.
More great animal charities:
5. Give. Being able to dazzle our loved ones with thoughtful gifts during the holidays is such a wonderful momentary blessing, but being able to impact a life, that is a blessing that lives on long after the new has worn off those fancy gifts under the tree. Even the smallest donations make an impact in the lives of those who need it most. Below I have linked some great charity organizations that you can support this year, and in many years to come if you find it in your heart.
Of course, there are many more wonderful charities out there but hopefully this list is a helpful starting place.
Thanks so much for visiting the blog today. I hope you are enjoying your holiday season so far.