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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

10 Easy Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

As the festive season approaches, our hearts are filled with warmth, and the spirit of giving becomes more prevalent than ever. The holiday season isn’t just about twinkling lights, presents, and festive decorations; it’s a time to reflect on the joy of giving and sharing with those who could use a helping hand. From spreading kindness to supporting charitable causes, let’s explore 10 easy ways to give back this holiday season: 

  1. Help an Older Adult Hang Up Christmas Lights

One delightful way to give back this holiday season is by lending a helping hand to our older neighbors. For many older adults, the task of putting up Christmas lights can be physically challenging. Offering to assist them with this task not only brings a sparkle to their living space but also creates cherished moments of connection that they might be missing. The simple act of helping an older adult put up Christmas lights is a wonderful reminder that the spirit of giving knows no age.

  1. Pay for the Person Behind You at a Coffee Shop

Another simple way to spread holiday cheer is by participating in the timeless gesture of paying it forward at your local coffee shop. This small but impactful act not only brightens someone’s day but also creates a ripple effect of positivity. In a season often characterized by bustling crowds and long to-do lists, this gesture serves as a gentle reminder that the spirit of giving can be swift and contagious. So, why not make someone’s day a little merrier by turning a routine coffee run into a heartwarming experience of unexpected kindness? 

  1. Donate to a Children’s Hospital Wish List

For those seeking a direct and impactful way to make a difference this holiday season, consider brightening the lives of children facing health challenges by donating to a children’s hospital wish list. These lists often include items that can bring comfort, joy, and a touch of magic to young patients during their hospital stay. From toys and games to books and art supplies, your contribution can play a significant role in creating moments of joy and distraction for children who may be going through difficult times. 

  1. Adopt a Military Family

Consider reaching out to those who sacrifice so much for our collective well-being–our military families. Adopting a military family is a powerful way to express gratitude and show support for those who serve our country. Many military families face unique challenges, especially during the holidays when some loved ones may be deployed or stationed far from home. Whether it’s providing gifts, essential items, or a festive meal, your generosity will ensure that these families feel a sense of community and appreciation during a time that can be particularly lonely for some. Donate online to a military family here: Online Donations - Operation Help a Hero

  1. Volunteer at a Local Soup Kitchen

For a more hands-on approach to giving back this holiday season, consider dedicating your time to volunteer at a local soup kitchen. The act of serving a warm meal to those in need extends far beyond nourishing the body-it provides a sense of dignity and connection that is vital during the colder months. Soup kitchens often see an increased demand during the holiday season, making volunteers crucial in ensuring that everyone can enjoy a hot and comforting meal. By participating in this selfless act, you not only contribute to alleviating hunger but also create a welcoming and inclusive environment for individuals who may be facing challenging circumstances.

  1. Write a Handwritten Card to an Isolated Senior

In the age of technology, a heartfelt handwritten letter holds a timeless and impactful charm, especially when directed toward an older adult spending the holidays alone. A personalized letter offers a touch of companionship and hope during a challenging time. Consider reaching out to local hospitals or organizations facilitating such initiatives to connect with older adults who would appreciate receiving a thoughtful letter.


  1. Donate Items to Your Local Shelter

Amidst the festive decorations and holiday cheer, it is important to remember those who may not have a warm home to celebrate in. Donating items to your local shelter is a great way to make a difference in the lives of individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Many shelters welcome donations of gently used items such as coats, gloves, blankets, etc., to help those in need stay warm. This act of generosity embodies the true spirit of the season, emphasizing the importance of giving back to our community and ensuring that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, feels a sense of care and compassion during the holidays.  

  1. Run a 5k for a Charitable Cause

For those who enjoy combining the spirit of giving with a dash of physical activity, running a 5K for a good cause is a fantastic way to make a positive impact this holiday season. Many charitable organizations organize holiday-themed runs, where participants can contribute to a specific cause while engaging in a healthy and festive activity. Whether it's raising funds for a local charity or supporting a global initiative, lacing up your running shoes and hitting the pavement becomes a powerful symbol of solidarity with those in need.  

  1. Donate to a Child in Foster Care

As we embrace the season of giving, let’s not forget the children in the foster care system who may long for a sense of stability and joy during the holidays. Donating to this often-overlooked demographic is a heartwarming way to spread cheer and make a lasting impact. Consider reaching out to local foster care agencies or organizations to learn about specific needs, such as clothing, toys, and educational materials. By offering your support, you contribute to creating moments of happiness and normalcy for these children. Donate here today: Giving Tuesday | Foster Love

  1. For Your Christmas Gift; Ask Friends/Family to Donate in Your Name

Shifting the focus from material gifts to meaningful contributions, consider a unique and impactful way to give back this holiday season by asking your friends and family to donate to a cause of your choosing as your Christmas gift. By encouraging loved ones to contribute in your name, you transform the act of gift-giving into a collective effort to create positive change.

In the spirit of holiday festivities, the true magic lies in our ability to give back and spread joy to those who need it the most. Whether it’s assisting an older neighbor, helping a child in need, or getting some exercise for a good cause, the spirit of giving takes on countless forms. 

Brought to you by Tara Schumann, Digital Media Specialist for The Society of Certified Senior Advisors.