Tuesday, November 15, 2016

10 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

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"Help others without any reason and give without the expectation of receiving anything in return." 
- Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

One thing I love most about Christmas is the spirit of giving, and as we approach the holiday season, Chris and I have been looking for ways to practice generosity and ways to give back to those who are in need. I've been doing some research on different organizations and ideas on giving back, and I wanted to share with you guys all the wonderful ways you can reach out to those in need this year. I hope that you'll be inspired by some of these ideas and that you can bring the joy of Christ to others in your community or around the world this Christmas.... because that is what the season is really about. 

1. Operation Christmas Child - We pack boxes every year, and it's something I always look forward to! Operation Christmas Child sends these specially created care packages to children all over the world who need the most basic items as well as a few toys to enjoy this Christmas season. After you pack the box, the organization also places a small Bible in the box for the child. National send off week is this week!! So you still have time to pack a box (visit their website for more information on how to pack one)!

2. Food for the Poor - This is a charity I donate to all year long, because feeding hungry children is something I'm really passionate about. It breaks my heart that there are children out there who are literally starving. I think this is a great charity to give to, especially this time of year as we are enjoying so many good meals. You can sign up for a monthly donation or give a one time donation.

3. Visit your local homeless shelter. There is always help needed - whether it's helping sort or donating items such as socks, coats, blankets, gloves, hats.... each little item will keep someone warm this winter season.

4. Sponsor an Angel from The Salvation Army Angel Tree. Picking out a requested, special gift for someone is a great way to help someone else enjoy the Christmas season and the joy of receiving a gift.

5. If you are unable to sponsor someone from the angel tree, you can still donate to the Salvation Army online or make sure to drop some money in those little red buckets you see outside the stores every year!

6. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen. The cold weather brings more people in for a warm meal, and they usually need all the help they can get to serve those who need it. Serving food at a shelter could become a Christmas tradition for your family!

7. Donate your time, money, or food to the local food bank. Food banks always run low this time of year, and their staff is always stretched thin. Consider volunteering one Saturday before Christmas at your local food back to help hand out, sort, organize and prepare food for families.

8. Support our troops through the USO Program. This organization supports our troops year around, not just at Christmastime, and they are always in need of help. A nice gesture would be to donate in the name of a neighbor, friend, or co-worker, and it could be included in the card that a donation was made in their name to this wonderful organization and our troops.

9. One Warm Coat is a national organization dedicated to making to sure everyone who needs a warm coat this year will get one. Click on the link and find the map on the right to find a coat drive in your area!

10. Bake cookies or any other yummy goodies for your local firemen and police officers. These public service men and women do a ton of hard work and it would be a blessing to let them know how appreciated they are by dropping off baked goods and a smile.

Do you have any other ideas on how we can give back this holiday season? I would love to hear!