Giving: Safe ways you can continue to give back this holiday season

The holiday season is the time we reflect on how lucky we are to have a roof over our head and food on our table, but it is also a time to think about those who have less than us. As we head deeper into the holiday season, we’re sharing ways you can still safely give back to your community at a time when many nonprofits are facing more demand than ever. 

  1. Find a local organization. Find a local food bank or shelter in need of helping hands and volunteer your time. If you feel comfortable, you can safely volunteer to package and distribute donations wearing a mask and gloves. If you don’t feel comfortable volunteering in person, you can collect food or money donations from your friends and neighbors to contribute to the cause. 
  2. Set up a giving library. During the pandemic, free libraries have become a great resource for supporting neighbors in need. Set up a library and stock it with food, supplies, coupons, and other goods that can help out struggling community members.
  3. Shop local. Small businesses have been particularly hard hit by the economic consequences of the pandemic. Check out our article on how to support local businesses, including visiting them for all your holiday shopping needs. 
  4. Redirect your gifts. Instead of gifts this year, consider asking friends and family to donate the money they would have spent on a gift to a cause of your choice. 
  5. Clean up your community. Head out to a local park, trail, or beach and spend the afternoon cleaning up litter. Your community and the planet will be grateful!
  6. Send care packages. Send care packages full of goodies to those who you cannot physically spend the holiday with. Perhaps focus on those who will be spending the holiday alone. Bonus points if the goods come from local businesses. 
  7. Cook for a neighbor. Do you have a neighbor who is elderly or who you know will be spending the holiday season alone? Cook up a meal to deliver to them and spread the joy of home cooking. 
  8. Spread the word.  Know an organization that is in need of donations or support? Share their information on social media and by word of mouth to encourage more people to support the cause.
  9. Write thank you notes. Participate in our Thankful Thursdays initiative and send gratitude to others in the community. First responders, doctors, nurses, teachers, and essential workers are facing the brunt of the pandemic. Deliver a note of thanks and you can even include a box of homemade baked goods. 
  10. Give blood. Giving blood provides a lifesaving service for someone in need. Contact your doctor or local blood bank to schedule a safe donation appointment. 
  11. Foster an animal. Take in a shelter animal to give them a home for the holidays before they find their forever owners. If you don’t have the time or space to foster, you can still donate food, toys, blankets, or towels to a local shelter. 
  12. Wear a mask and socially distance. These are the two most effective ways to slow the spread of covid-19 in our communities. By wearing a mask and socially distancing, you are protecting you, your loved ones, and vulnerable community members from getting sick. 

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