The end-of-the-year holidays entail the atmosphere of giving as they celebrate gratitude, love, family, and home. However, as many happily gathered families around the table, there are also many without families, food, gifts, or even a home. Although giving is always in season, during the holidays it seems more important than ever to make sure everyone has a reason to celebrate.
Here are ways to give back to those in need during the holidays that will not hurt a budget already stretched with spending on others.
Be an Elf
Certain post office branches now keep letters to Santa in a place where volunteers can select them, answer them, and buy gifts accordingly. Letters from underprivileged children are prioritized. On the Be an Elf organization’s website, the participating post offices are listed.
Visit a Nursing Home
Many people in nursing homes do not have a family to visit them, and they spend the holidays alone with only memories of happier times past to keep them company. Find a nursing home in the local community and pay a visit during the holidays. Just being there to listen and smile with the residents will lift their spirits this season.
Give Away Your Flight Miles
The Make-A-Wish Foundation helps make wishes come true for thousands of children every year who have only a short time to experience life. The Foundation uses 50,000 round trip tickets a year, and one way to be a part of that is to donate frequent flier miles.
Help make a sick child’s holiday a little easier
For many sick children, waking up on Christmas morning in a hospital, as well as for their families, the holiday is anything but joyful. Donate to the Ronald McDonald House organization by giving board games and toys for the family to enjoy this holiday or volunteer time to cook a homemade meal for the family. The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital also has many other opportunities to donate, give, or support sick children and their families.
With all the wonderful people who help make our lives easier, like first-responders, firefighters, and delivery drivers, as well as those who are struggling just to make ends meet, there are ample opportunities to give back during the holidays.