There is something about this time of year that reminds us just how fortunate we are and inspires the desire to help others. In this spirit of giving back, I have compiled a short list of ways to spread some joy with those who may need it. The best part? All of these can be done any time of the year.
Adopt a family or child for gift giving. Ask any church or community organization, and I am willing to bet they can think of a family in need. Help ensure that everyone in your community receives something special for the holidays by providing gifts for those in need. This is a great way to teach children about the value of giving rather than receiving.
Make holiday cards or decorations like tree ornaments or door wreaths. Take your homemade cards and crafts to a local nursing home or hospital. (Be sure to ask about gift-giving policies before heading in.) When it isn’t the holiday season, send cards to our troops overseas who may find great joy in a thoughtful gift from State-side.
Cook or prepare a meal, side dish, or baked goods. Organizations like Loaves & Fishes and the Ronald McDonald House are often looking for or accept home-cooked or purchased food donations. Contact them to find out how you can best assist this holiday season. Again, this can be done year round.
Host a holiday “giving” party and ask your guests to bring a non-perishable food item(s) for a food pantry or clothing and toiletries for a women’s shelter.
Volunteer at a local homeless organization and help your neighbors in need. Contact Disciples Kitchen in Waynesboro, VA and volunteer to help them provide support, temporary shelter or housing, and community development for adults and families in the city and in Augusta County.
Deliver a hot meal for someone who can’t make one themselves. Call your local Meals-on-Wheels program to provide warm meals for homebound members of your community.
For more ideas, visit www.volunteermatch.org to find an opportunity that fits your schedule and interest.
Please share your ideas for spreading happiness both during the holiday season and year round.