With all the ups and downs you can experience in a single year, the holidays are a wonderful time to reflect on all you’re grateful for and consider ways you can give back to your community.
During the holiday season, many charitable organizations rely on the generosity of others to meet their holiday demands. But with so many deserving nonprofit organizations, scholarship programs, university funds, and other causes, how do you decide where best to focus your resources of time, energy, and money?
This week, we’re exploring impactful ways to give back to your community during the holidays, plus some unique ideas for giving.
Where to Focus Your Efforts
Perhaps you’ve been donating to the same nonprofit year after year and want to try something new, or maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the organizations that need your support. Since so many causes benefit from others’ time, energy, and monetary donations around the holidays, getting specific about what you truly value can help you hone in on where to focus your efforts.
Here are a few points to keep in mind when weighing your options:
- Support causes that align with your mission: When deciding how to distribute your resources this year, think creatively about the causes that can help you live out your mission.
- Do due diligence and research: Conduct your own research to confirm that the organization you will be supporting is legitimate. For instance, investigate what percentage of donations actually support the organization’s cause to understand what the money is used for and how it makes an impact in the community.
- Involve your family in the decision: Why not make it a group effort? Have a family meeting to decide which organization you want to support. Involving kids and partners in decisions about donations or volunteering is an excellent way to foster a sense of camaraderie.
9 Impactful Ways to Give Back
If you’ve gone through a decision-making process to determine how best to use your resources and still want some ideas on how to give back this holiday season, here are nine traditional (and not-so-traditional) ideas to do so:
- Donate your flight miles: Been racking up miles on all those business trips to Miami? If you’re looking to support an organization that grants wishes, many of those wishes require airline travel. An easy way to help is by donating your flight miles to families that need them.
- Help children of incarcerated parents: Kids whose parents are in prison may have an extra hard time during the holidays. If you want to lend them a helping hand, donate to a program that supports the families of incarcerated men and women.
- Give to families who have someone in the hospital: Having a family member in the hospital is challenging in and of itself but experiencing a health crisis during the holidays can be even more difficult. Contact your local hospital and ask about their volunteer and donation programs. Many hospitals accept handmade cards for patients and toy donations for children.
- Fulfill holiday letters: One wonderful way to volunteer as a family is to work with an organization that fulfills the holiday wish lists of underprivileged children. Ask the organization to send you a wish list then ask your family to join you as you shop for and purchase these gifts.
- Adopt a military family: Military obligations can separate families during the holidays, but there are programs that allow you to “adopt” these families. Adoption responsibilities may include purchasing gifts for kids, providing gift cards to families, and sending cards to those who are deployed.
- Donate to provide shelter for homeless youth: There are many children who experience homelessness during the holidays. Consider donating money to an organization that provides shelter to LGBTQ, pregnant, and other young adults facing homelessness.
- Help families of sick children: Donate money, gifts, or your time to help serve the families of sick children.
- Volunteer at a food bank: Volunteering at your local soup kitchen or food pantry is a wonderful way to positively impact your community. Try to be flexible with your availability, as this is a popular time for volunteers.
- Contact local charities: Reach out to your local charities and see what they need this season. They might ask you to spread the word, volunteer, or provide them with fundraising support.
The Bottom Line
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it can be all too easy for us to neglect the charitable organizations and causes that bring us personal fulfillment. But we can each make a difference by giving back.
Looking to set goals when it comes to supporting your community? An Arootah Life Coach can support you in identifying what you value and building an action plan to move towards your greatest goals. Schedule a free, no-obligation consult call today.