This is the time of year everyone begins wondering how they can give back, yet others are still wondering what the joy is in giving. Joy is that moment that you have given, when you see someone’s appreciation in his or her eye; a tear that falls down his or her face, knowing that you have done something to truly help someone. Sometimes just doing something good lifts a person’s spirits, even if they do not get to see a response. Below are a few ideas of how you can give back during the holidays.
Donate to charity – During the holiday season you will surely see the “Marine Toys for Tots Foundation” with the big boxes in front of stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, etc. This would be a great way to donate, go into the store and purchase a small toy and drop it off before leaving. Donate $1 to $5 to a charity in someone’s name. There are other charities such as the Make-a-Wish foundation and UNICEF. Always make sure to check with the Better Business Bureau before donating money to ensure they are legit.
Adopt a child for the holidays – You know those Christmas trees in the store that have a star or a child’s name on them. The backs always have one wish of what the kid would like, sometimes it is something simple like a jacket, shoes or socks and others they are requesting a Barbie, etc.
Leave a treat – Leave a goodie or a gift for someone not expecting it. An example might be an elderly neighbor that never seems to get visitors. Pop in a card in their mailbox or a plate of cookies for them or a fruit tray.
Donate items – This time of year you will see many places calling for donations. You can donate old or new jackets, clothes, gently used toys, canned goods, pet food, etc.
Volunteer at a soup kitchen – Find a soup kitchen in your area and volunteer for a few hours, a weekend, etc. You will be amazed with how many people really need a meal, but it will feel amazing seeing the gratitude on their face and you give them a spoonful of soup or another dish they are waiting on. The truth is you will not only be helping yourself by volunteering to do something good, but you are helping the person that needs that meal and your community. Soup kitchens are by donations only, this is not a profit organization, they only stay running with volunteers and donations of food items and/or monetary donations. Do not worry if you are not a cook, you can help serve, wash dishes, greet guests, etc. There is always a job if you want to volunteer.
Apart from being a licensed veterinarian, Susan Wright is also a freelance writer. Susan enjoys sharing gift giving ideas for friends, family and pets.