For most of us, this is a special time of year, with family gatherings, celebrations with friends, and decorations and food taking up our time and thoughts.
For some people, however, the holiday season is no pleasure. Lack of funds, family issues, or the loss of a loved one can make the holidays a challenge to survive rather than something to enjoy. Amidst your fun activities, this is a good time of year to add helping others to your holiday list. Here are a few suggestions.
Donate to a food bank or rescue shelter. With the economy still down, many people rely on this type of assistance and these services are stretched to the limit. By donating food and dollars, you can make a difference for people and families not as fortunate as yours.
When giving, think of holiday needs. Rather than digging through your pantry for those cans of olives no one wants to eat, shop for special holiday non-perishables, or donate a turkey at one of the local turkey drives.
Adopt a family: Many non-profit organizations have families of people in financial trouble that could use a hand. You generally get a list of ages and genders of family members, along with some things on their wish lists. It can be a fun family experience to shop for another family, choosing special things to make their holiday brighter.
Donate your time: Hospitals and nursing homes have rooms full of lonely people who would love a visit and maybe a few homemade cookies. Shut-ins often receive holiday meals, and by volunteering to deliver some you can brighten someone’s day with your visit. Often you are the only person they will see that day, so taking the time to chat and say cheering words can make a world of difference.
Take a few minutes to think about how fortunate you are, and then you may want to help others feel fortunate too.