Our thoughts naturally turn to helping others during the holidays. But why should we wait until November and December to reach out to help those in need? There are many worthwhile causes in all communities that need help year around. Here are some simple ideas for finding opportunities to make a difference in your community right now.
Make cards for hospitalized children.
Grab some friends and craft personalized greeting cards to give to a local hospital. It will surely add some cheer to any child’s day.
Make Special Deliveries.
Sign up to make meal deliveries to the homebound elderly who aren’t able to make a trip to the grocery store.
Visit seniors at an assisted living or nursing home.
Visit an assisted-living facility for the elderly once a week. Take treats or flowers and bring joy to someone through great conversation.
Serve at a soup kitchen.
Volunteering at a local soup kitchen is a valuable way to interact with the people you’re helping. Invite some friends, your children or coworkers and spend the lunch hour providing a warm meal to those in need.
Clean out your closet and donate your clothes.
Donate items that aren’t worn, no longer fit, or you simply want to get rid of. Warm coats are a plus. If you have old suits or business attire, consider donating those as well for anyone in need of interview or job clothing. Check with your local Goodwill about drive-up donation spots in your community.
Notable Charitable Opportunities
The American Red Cross’ Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign is designed to spread cheer to military, veterans and families in their community. Local Red Cross offices will collect, sort and distribute the greeting cards in the communities. Contact your local Red Cross for more information on how to get involved.
Toys for Tots is a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve and includes the collection and distribution of toys with the help of local Toys for Tots Campaign Coordinators who conduct
activities throughout the year to increase awareness, generate toys and donations. Toys for Tots hopes to deliver a message of hope to less fortunate children through a new toy year round.
Local nonprofit agencies, businesses or brands can team up with One Warm Coat to host coat drives in their communities. The organization has provided over 300,000 children with new coats of their own. PrimeLending branch offices are hosting a competition to see which branch can collect the most coats to benefit One Warm Coat’s challenge. Coats can be dropped off at your local PrimeLending branch the week of December 14, 2015. All coats collected will be given to a local agency for distribution to local children and adults in need.
One of the most common and recognized volunteer opportunities is The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign. During November and December, people of all ages ring bells across the nation to raise donations to support year-round programs proved by The Salvation Army’s area community centers. Sign up in your local community to ring the bells in your hometown this season.
Keep it up all year
Don’t limit volunteering to the holiday season. Take the time to make someone’s day better, involve your children, and you’ll find you’ve given yourself the gift of happiness, too.
*PrimeLending is not affiliated with the organizations mentioned above.