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The Holiday Season is back again. Presents, parties, food and more! But wait, what about charity, good will towards others and giving back? Sometimes we get so busy that our best intentions to give back get placed on the back burner But there are a few easy ways to give back this holiday season.
1. Blessing Bags
I love this idea! My mother used to do something similar and hand out fast food to people asking for help on the street or in an intersection. I saw the idea of “blessing bags” on Pinterest and ran with it. The idea is to back a re-sealable sandwich bag with travel-size toiletries, snacks, food coupons, phone list of local resources and a few dollars. When you see someone asking for help, holding a “will work for…” sign, etc. stop and let them know you are wishing them well, and give back by gifting them with a “blessing bag.” The bag has necessities and a few goodies to make their day a bit better.
2. Cash or Gift Card Donation
This is an easy one for those strapped for time. Donating cash online to your favorite charity is only a click away, and a great way to enrich a cause or charity that is close to you. A lot of charities also welcome gift cards, both used with a small balance and new. So, if you have some gift cards with just a few dollars lying around, here is an idea for you!
3. Prepare a Meal
I remember accompanying my mother to serve Thanksgiving dinner at a local women’s shelter. This selfless and simple act left a huge impression on me as a young girl. There are so many shelters that you would not have a problem finding a location to serve dinner during the holidays. It is a great way to give back, spend some time with people, and see what is going on in your community. You could also prepare a meal yourself for a sick church member, friend with a deployed spouse, etc. Spread the holiday cheer with a friendly meal!
4. Adopt a Family
This type of giving back has been around for years. Angel Trees, Holiday Helper and SantaCraigs are just a few organizations that allow you to adopt a family for the holidays. Buying gift or providing non-perishable food or clothes are both great ways to give to needy families during the holidays. This is a great way to get your children involved and help you shop while explaining the giving back concept.
5. Send Care Packages
Our deployed military members need some love for the holidays as well. Sending your loved ones care packages is a given but what about those service members who may not have anyone sending them packages? Check with your spouse’s unit to see if they have a list of single soldiers that you could “adopt” or send a big package to a unit from your base. Other ways include donating books to organizations such as Books for Soldiers.
6. Anonymous Act of Kindness
Anonymous giving! This is the best kind to me. I’ve seen so many acts of kindness to random strangers. My favorites have been paying off part of a stranger’s Christmas lay-a-way, putting lottery tickets on random windshields, putting extra quarters in parking meters with a note and leaving gift baskets on neighbors’ porches. Brainstorm with your family; be creative and random in your acts of kindness. There are endless ways to give back!
There are so many ways to spread a little joy this holiday season and bring a smile to someone’s face. You never know what other people are experiencing or doing without. Taking a few minutes to give back will benefit another person AND you!
Raven W. Green aka Ms. MommyHH6 is a mom to two kids (one of whom is ADHD, SPD and on the Autism Spectrum), a wife to a career Soldier, a freelance writer and lives in Virginia. She has written and/or writes for Homefront United, MilitaryOne Source, Mom It Forward, Mom-Spot, Mom-Blog and Care.com She publishes a daily blog Live, Love & Learn with Ms. MommyHH6 focusing on special needs moms and military spouses. Connect with Raven on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, MOSNAB-Moms of Special Needs Army Brats and her Blog.
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