Now that the Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to focus your volunteer efforts on the wonderful month of December. With extra time off and family in town, it’s an ideal time to give back (especially to those who need a little help to make their holiday celebrations joyful).
Get a group together and pick one of these ideas to make someone’s holiday season a little brighter:
1. Live in a snowy place? Volunteer to be on call to scoop your neighbor’s driveway. Ice and snow can be a dangerous combination for older people—get your family together to make quick work of their driveway and save them a potentially hazardous house chore.
2. Do you play the guitar? What about the piano? Consider getting a group of carolers together and go spread some holiday cheer at a local retirement home. Even if you’re a little tone-deaf, your effort and smiles will be enough to make their night.
3. Several studies support the findings that there is a spike in domestic violence around the holiday season. With this being the case, women’s shelters are often in greater need for supplies. Pick up some extra toiletries next time you’re out, look for a few items of clothing you’re willing to donate, or buy a few toys for the mothers and children that will be spending the holiday season in a shelter.
4. Perhaps the little ones in your family have all grown up, leaving a void of Lego and Barbie shopping. The solution? Look into philanthropies that donate toys to underprivileged children, or kids in orphanages or foster care. It can be a wonderful experience picking out a special toy for a little one.
5. Perhaps the furry population has a special place in your heart. With winter weather, animal shelters also see a rise in residents. Purchase extra food or treats, disinfectant, laundry detergent, paper towels, kitty litter, pet pillows or other supplies your local shelter is running low on. (Or better yet, adopt your new best friend.)
6. Many nonprofits in your area will be having a holiday fundraising event. Select one that stands out to you and make a donation. It’s simple, but makes a huge impact for that charity and in your community.