With the holidays around the corner, it’s almost time to spend quality time with our families. However, what about the people who don’t have families? What about the people living on the streets? What about the people in the hospital who are unable to go home to celebrate the holidays? With the holidays around the corner, let’s help others who are in need. Let’s help bring joy to people during this time and we might just make their holidays a little better.
It breaks my heart to see homeless people outside in the cold. If you live in an area where it gets extremely cold, try helping those who don’t have a home by making them feel safe and warm. Last year, my friends and I drove around Boston to find homeless people and we handed them blankets and pillows. It’s heartbreaking to see them trying to keep warm in the winter with little to no clothes, so we tried to make them a little warmer. Blankets and pillows are expensive, but when you buy them in bulk, it isn’t so bad. My friends and I bought them during the Black Friday sale so it was a lot cheaper.
If you have money to spare, try buying a homeless person a small blanket, pillow, or even food to eat. Most of these people are starving, so surprise them with a burger, hot chocolate, or you can even ask them if they’re hungry and what they would like! This will make them happier than you’ll ever know.
Another way to give back during the holiday season is by donating your old(but useable) toys to hospitals, or you could also buy new toys for children in the hospital. I had a friend whose dad used to dress up as Santa during the holidays(he was a doctor at the hospital), and during his breaks, he would go around to the children and deliver presents to them and he’d let them know that they are loved and that they are not alone. I’m not telling you to dress up as Santa and make kids believe that Santa is real, but try donating some toys that you don’t use anymore, or if you have spare money, buy a new toy for a child at the hospital to play with. Being in the hospital sucks; nobody wants to spend the holidays stuck in the hospital room, so you can make it better by giving them a toy or a homemade card!
The holidays are all about giving. When you shop for loved ones, try buying gifts from brands that give back! This year, for example, if you buy bracelets from Alex and Ani, 20% of the profits will go to the American Heart Association. So, while you’re crossing off your to-do list, you’re also making a difference.
Finally, my favorite way to give back is by donating canned food to food drives, as well as helping out at the food kitchen. Many food banks and food kitchens are open during the holidays, so you can go and volunteer for a couple of hours to make food for the homeless. They’re already spending their holidays alone with barely anything to eat, so make their holidays a little better by making them food and spending a little time with them. When I have volunteered at soup kitchens in the past, I would hand out food to everyone and they would always smile and try to make conversation with me. After I would pass out the food, I would go around and ask if everyone liked their food and what they didn’t like so we could get feedback. Even small talk will make them feel better, so if you have time to spare, volunteer at a soup kitchen or drop off some cans of food to your local food bank. They’re always collecting!
These are some of the ways that I try to give back during the holidays. I hope this encourages you to give back for the holidays as well!