10 Ways to Help at Christmas

Friday, December 11, 2015

Collecting for Xmas  (LOC) The holiday season can be a joyful time, but it can also be stressful or sad or lonely for many. Here are ten easy ways you can help make someone's life this December a little bit brighter- and if you're looking for more ways, make sure to check out my post from last year too "20 ways to help at Christmas" which has an additional 20 ideas or Ashley of Pretty Happy Sweet's post "Five Ways to Do Good This Holiday Season." Plus, don't forget, you can shop local and/or at stores that give back (see here to find out more). Without further ado, 10 (More) Ways to Help at Christmas:  


  • Donate time, money, or food to the local food bank. 

  • Donate supplies to UMCOR for their relief aid. They need supplies for Bedding kits, Layette Kits, Schooling Kits, Health Kits, Birthing Kits, and Sewing kits. It is easy and inexpensive to create and ship the kits, or you can donate cash to purchase the required items.The cleaning buckets are sent to help clean up after severe weather disasters, such as hurricanes and storms, within the United States and all the other kits are for global distribution. These kits help provide care for those "most vulnerable in times of crisis," and unfortunately, crisis do not take a holiday. *While UMCOR is affiliated with a religious organization, the care they provide is not limited to those of a certain faith, or by region. 

  • Short on money? Why not donate blood? The holidays are a time of increased  incidents of accidents and illnesses.  There are a lot of different types of blood donation, including red and white platelets and plasma. All are needed. If you are like me and unable to give blood, why not consider helping at a blood drive instead? 

  • Buy from local organizations who are fundraising. Boy Scouts- and often other groups- are selling Christmas Trees and wreaths during the season (Psst! If you are local here is when the local troop is selling trees). These fundraisers help young people able to support their extracurricular organizations and have opportunities they may not otherwise help. Plus, the experience of selling helps the young people to learn about entrepreneurship. civic responsibility and hard work, so- if a kid is selling it, consider buying. 

  • Women and children who are in women's shelters often have to leave home quickly, and may arrive with little more than the clothes on their back. Donating gift cards, so they can buy clothes (that fit and are to their and/or their children's tastes) can make a huge difference. Likewise, donating hygiene supplies or cooking meals can also help these families who are in a vulnerable place during the holidays. 

  • Many are in situations of places where they cannot go home for the holidays. They are in hospitals, nursing homes or other institutions that, while providing great care, can make for lonely holidays. Give the gift of presence and see about visiting. If you are unsure where to start, the Holiday Project helps organize visitors in communities all over the country so that those who are in need of company can get a visit. 

  • So this is more of a way to help after the holiday season, but recycling your Christmas tree can help the environment. Trees can be used for a variety of things, including being made into mulch, helping to create barriers preventing soil erosion or being made into lining for hiking paths. You could also consider getting a live tree with roots. When the holidays are done, you could plant the tree! Find out more at the National Christmas Tree Association. 

  • Operation Shoebox is an easy way to get care packages to soldiers for Christmas (or any time).

  • For families that have lost a loved one, the holidays can be a tough time. For them, the gift of your presence in their lives- whether in person or through the mail if you are far away- is huge. If you want to go a step further, consider getting flowers in their name for the families' church altar ( or other place of worship, if flowers are considered appropriate), or other public location of significance (perhaps donating the flower arrangement to the hospital or nursing home their loved one received care at). You may also consider donating to a relevant charity in their deceased loved one's name. 

  • Public servants, such as police, fire men, social workers and more, may not get the holiday off and, in fact, the holidays may see an increase in their work load. These jobs may or may not be dangerous and may or may not pay very well. So, consider baking some cookies and taking them down to your local police station as a way to say, "Thanks." 


6 comments

  1. Very thoughtful post at the time of the year.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  2. Thanks for the mention! Love these ideas :)

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  3. I love that last one especially--baking cookies for the firemen and policemen. I remember we did that quite a bit in middle school and elementary school, and moreso how happy it made them!

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  4. This is a great post! Thanks for reminding us to help out during the holidays. :D

    -Rebecca
    http://mn2nz.wordpress.com

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  5. Good list! It may not be applicable in every state, but a good organization you could add some time is World Relief, for helping refugee families settle in the US. http://worldrelief.org

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