25 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season
There is always a big push to give back during the holiday season. And sometimes the pressure to do so can be overwhelming.
You might be worried about not having enough extra time or money, but there are countless ways to give back this holiday season.
This makes it easy to pick and choose what works best for you and your family.
If you have budgeted money to give back during the holiday season, you’ll find ample opportunities.
If you’ve set aside time to give back this holiday season, you’ll discover many ways to serve.
If you feel strapped for cash or time, you’ll find plenty of ways to simply show you care.
Peruse this list of 25 ways to give back this holiday season to see which ones for you.
#1 Spend Time Helping with Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels is a nationwide organization that delivers meals to seniors living in isolation. There are multiple ways to help with Meals on Wheels. You can donate financially or volunteer to deliver meals during your lunch break.
#2 Give Gifts That Give Back
As you finish up your Christmas shopping, consider purchasing gifts that give back.
There are numerous stores that sell goods that benefit organizations supporting different causes.
For example, you can buy a bracelet that donates proceeds to mental health organizations, coffee that donates proceeds to the troops, or water filter straws that provide safe drinking water to children.
Check out this list of 47 gifts that give back from Good Housekeeping.
#3 Donate to Charity in Someone’s Name
Is there someone on your Christmas list that has everything? Or someone that has specifically requested no gifts?
Consider donating to a charity they support in their name. Many charities offer a card you can print that details your charitable gift in their honor.
#4 Send Cards to Military Members Overseas
Take some time to send Christmas cards to our military members overseas.
There are numerous organizations, such as USASOA, that help these Christmas cards get into the hands of soldiers.
Just make sure you do this sooner rather than later if you want the card to arrive before Christmas.
#5 Adopt a Family in Need
There are many programs that allow you to support a family in need, such as the Salvation Army Angel Tree, which provides gifts to children of prisoners.
However, you don’t have to find a program to adopt a family in need.
If there is a family you know of that could use a little help this Christmas, see if there is a way you can support them, such as purchasing gifts or giving the parents gift cards to allow them to shop for presents.
#6 Pay a Layaway
Visit a local retail store and see if you can finish paying for someone’s Christmas layaway items.
If you’d rather go through an organization, check out Pay Away. Pay Away accepts donations to surprise families by paying off their layaway balances.
#7 Visit a Nursing Home
Unfortunately, there are many nursing home residents who do not receive visitors during the holiday season.
Over the next few weeks leading up to Christmas, see if you can fit in time to visit your local nursing home and spend time with residents whose guest list is minimal.
#8 Order from an Amazon Wish List
AmazonSmile Charity Lists make it easy for you to order gifts directly from the website and ship them to the charity in need.
You can shop your favorite charity’s wish list and send what is requested directly to their doors. For instance, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has a St. Jude Holiday Toys Wish List.
#9 Donate Your Miles
Are you sitting on a lot of extra flight miles you don’t plan to use anytime soon? You can donate these miles!
Organizations, such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, accept airline mile donations and points to help fly wish kids and their families to their travel destinations.
#10 Make a Blanket
For those who enjoy crafting, you can donate handmade blankets to children in need through Project Linus. If you don’t sew or knit, you can donate needed materials or money.
#11 Clean for Someone Else
A simple way to give back during the holiday season is to be a good neighbor.
Could one of your neighbors use help cleaning before their family arrives? Does your elderly neighbor need help shoveling the driveway?
Look for opportunities to serve those around you.
#12 Gift Someone a Christmas Tree
Some families cannot afford a Christmas tree. If you are able, consider donating one through The Christmas Tree Project. This organization gives away fully decorated Christmas trees to families in need.
#13 Provide a Meal
When you shop for your holiday meal, buy double. You can either cook the meal and deliver it to a struggling family in need or simply donate the items so they can cook the meal themselves.
#14 Volunteer in a Local Shelter
There are always many extra volunteers at local shelters (food pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters) on Thanksgiving.
But these shelters need help on other days of the year as well. Find time to give back during the holiday season to serve in these local shelters.
#15 Wrap Presents for Charity
If you have gift wrapping supplies and time, you can set up a gift wrapping station that accepts donations.
Look for a high-traffic location, such as a mall, church, or school. Use these donations to support a charity close to your heart.
#16 Host a Drive
Many organizations rely on individuals like you and me to host drives to collect much-needed items.
Since people are more in the giving spirit during the holiday season, it is easy to host a drive virtually anywhere (your work office, your children’s school, your HOA, your church, etc.).
You can host a coat drive, food drive, or toy drive.
#17 Bake Treats for First Responders
When you bake your Christmas cookies, make some extra batches for first responders who will be working on the holidays. Take these to their stations with a Christmas card.
#18 Stuff Stockings for the Needy
Head to the Dollar Store and purchase several stockings. Fill these stockings with travel toiletries, bottles of water, and candy canes. Keep them on hand to give out to those you see in need.
#19 Donate Blood
Take some time to donate blood. Visit the Red Cross to find a local blood drive near you.
#20 Sell Gently Used Items on eBay for Charity
Have you been waiting to take boxes of gently used items to Goodwill? There’s another option.
You can declutter and donate to charity at the same time with eBay for Charity. With eBay for Charity, you can choose to donate the profits from what you sell to the nonprofit of your choice.
#21 Invite Someone to Dinner
For many, the holiday season can be lonely. Think about those in your circle who may be spending the holidays alone and invite them over for dinner.
#22 Connect with Someone on Social Call
Social Call is an organization that pairs volunteer callers with senior adults to have a phone call or video chat for about 30 minutes once a week.
The organization carefully matches volunteers and participants based on interests, hobbies, or shared cultural history.
#23 Thank Delivery Drivers
Are you expecting a lot of packages this holiday season? Set up a basket of snacks and drinks for them on your doorstep.
#24 Stock Up on Candy Canes
Keep candy canes on hand to give out whenever you want to make someone smile. Put them on your neighbor’s mailbox flags. Pass them out to the cashiers at stores.
#25 Send Toys Back with Santa
Encourage your children to give back during the holiday season by suggesting they donate their gently used toys to Santa. Have kids set them out with Santa’s cookies and milk for Santa to take to other children.