The weather may be chilly outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t feel warm and fuzzy on the inside! The holiday season means spending time with loved ones, enjoying home-cooked meals, celebrating traditions, practicing gratitude and kindness, and most importantly, giving back. It is so easy to get caught up in your everyday life and forget the importance of selflessness. No matter what you celebrate, this time of year is a wonderful season to focus on giving back to others, whether it is people you know or not. Some of you may be thinking – what are fun ways that I can make a difference? We have gathered 10 ways for you to give back this holiday season! As the Dalai Lama said, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
1. Start small.
Giving back does not need to take a ton of time, effort, or money. Perhaps you might buy a coffee for the person behind you in line, make dinner for your neighbors, or write a letter of gratitude to someone who means a lot to you. Simple gestures go a long way! Doing small good deeds for others will often start a chain effect, inspiring others to keep spreading the love. ‘Tis the season!
2. Clear out the clutter!
The holidays are a great time to check the closets and take some time to de-clutter. Donate any clothing or unwanted household items. Local shelters and religious centers are always looking for things to give to families in need, especially during the holidays. You will feel so much better doing this in a way that matters!
3. Get some extra non-perishables at the grocery store.
Food drives are everywhere around the holiday season. Simply grab a few extra cans of soup or whatever you want to donate, you can help make the holidays a little bit brighter for someone who is struggling. Look out for opportunities in your community or check out https://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank to find a food bank near you!
4. Donate blood!
If you are able to, donating blood is a fantastic way to make a difference. There is a major need for donations and it only takes a bit of time. You can save lives by doing this! Check out https://www.redcrossblood.org for more information on how to find a blood drive near you.
5. Check in with your local schools.
As the middle of the year approaches, students and teachers start to run out of simple supplies. Let’s face it: school budgets are a little bit tight! Calling your local schools and offering to bring in some supplies will make a huge difference in the lives of the teachers and the students. They will thank you!
We donated planners to some local schools in our area!
One way to show people that you appreciate them is by tipping a little bit extra to thank them for hard work. The holidays are crazy for everyone; providing this small token of gratitude will assure that person that they are doing meaningful work. Whether tipping someone you always tip or someone you may not think to tip, this small gesture will make someone’s day and maybe even help them contribute to a gift for their loved ones!
7. Support the troops.
Help take care of our service men and women that sacrifice their lives by supporting organizations that send care packages! To find out more about this opportunity, check out Operation Gratitude here: https://www.operationgratitude.com.
8. Don’t forget the animals!
If you’re looking for a furry friend, there are plenty of adoption agencies that are desperately seeking owners. Some places to look into for pet adoptions are All Paws, Pet Finder, ASPCA, and Home 4 the Holidays. If you’re not looking to adopt but still want to lend a hand, you can call the shelters to donate necessary items or even your time! All of those animals looking for a forever home can use a little extra love!
9. Make a difference with a volunteer organization that means something to you.
Finding a way to give back can sometimes be tricky when you are unaware of what opportunities are around you. Volunteer Match is a website that helps you find hands-on opportunities to volunteer at places near you. You can choose what type of volunteer work you would like to do based on what you care about most and they will provide you with a network of nonprofits near you! Check them out here: https://www.volunteermatch.org. Another great resource is https://sixtyandme.com/senior-volunteering.
We volunteered at a local Women & Children's shelter!
10. Plan your own day of giving!
A fun way to give back is having loved ones join along. To make it personal, host a party or event where everyone can work together for a common cause. It is a great way to get children to care about these causes as well – show them how much fun they can have making a difference! Holidays are all about spending time with loved ones, so this is a great way to do good together!
Each year, the bloom team assembles Christmas boxes for Operation Christmas Child!
We hope this blog gave you some good ideas on what you can do this holiday season to give back! Happy giving and happy holidays, bloom girls!
the bloom team