The end of the year can be a reflective period of time. From Thanksgiving through New Years, there is a lot of time to feel grateful and loved. Yet by the same token, it is easy to forget that for many people, the holidays can be a bitter reminder about misfortune or bad luck.
Between carving delicious turkeys and compiling shopping lists, finding the time and presence of mind to stop and give back can be difficult. Volunteering or donating to a worthy cause or charity can show people in need a sense of gratitude and appreciation, and the gesture in and of itself can be immensely rewarding. Here are a few easy ways to get involved.
Different causes and organizations across the country could use as much help as possible at any point of the year. Regardless, volunteering during November and December is a way to extend the holiday spirit to the less fortunate.
The National Coalition for the Homeless is a nonprofit organization of activists and advocates hoping to limit and eventually end homelessness in America. They make it easy to find a shelter or campaign that could use volunteers by listing a national directory of agencies across the country. Volunteering to help the homeless can take many forms. You may consider working in a food pantry or volunteering at a shelter, or you may want to offer free courses or job training depending on your own specific skill set.
Working with children is another great volunteer opportunity this holiday season. Many different agencies organize toy drives and holiday meals for needy children each year, and volunteering your time and energy would go a long way. For example, Toys For Tots has for years organized toy donations for children in need across the U.S. during the holiday season, and they offer a number of ways to get involved between toy donations and volunteer opportunities.
Volunteering at a facility serving veterans is another great way to reach out to a community in need during the holiday season. Once again, volunteering to work with veterans is a worthy cause year-round, but people down on their luck or otherwise disenfranchised may feel especially lonely or vulnerable during the this time of year. Sharing your time and company at any number of agencies or shelters serving veterans is a great way to show your appreciation for their service. Volunteering is easy, and you can register through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website to find a suitable location.
Another way to give back during the holiday season is to reach out to charities and non-profit organizations and make a donation. Spurred by the chaotic consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a new trend called Giving Tuesday has emerged. The day is an attempt to put a day of generosity on the calendar in a season marred by shopping and selfishness. Giving Tuesday is a global phenomenon but there are dozens of neighborhood initiatives across the country.
Donating food, toys or money to any charitable organization could make all the difference this holiday season. The American Red Cross, for example, processes donations throughout the year that help pay for things like vaccines for needy children and holiday cards for troops oversees. Charitable donations have helped the Red Cross deliver important goods and services to millions of the most vulnerable people across the country.
There are countless organizations and charities worthy of a donation or volunteering. Selecting a cause and finding the time to get involved is all it takes, and the holiday season is a perfect time to extend good faith and service toward others.
Source: Sunrise Senior Living