It’s easy to spread holiday cheer. Donating to support your favorite causes is a great option, and there are many other ways to bring joy to neighbors in need. Here are seven things you can do to help make the holidays bright.
1. Donate or volunteer with Toys for Tots.
Many families cannot afford to purchase toys for their children, so Toys for Tots works with volunteers to make wishes come true for kids who need a little extra holiday cheer. You can help by donating money or toys, hosting a collection site or volunteering at a local warehouse. Connect with your local coordinator to get involved.
2. Send seasons greetings to local heroes.
Share your appreciation and best wishes for military men and women in your community by sending holiday cards to heroes. Local chapters of the American Red Cross are organizing the Mail for Heroes campaign, coordinating holiday card delivery to local members of the military, veterans and their families.
3. Go caroling for a good cause.
Caroling is not only a perfect way to lift spirits; it’s also a great way to raise money for a good cause! Gather friends and family to participate in a caroling fundraiser such as the Nationwide Children’s Hospital “Caroling for a Cause” program to benefit the hospital’s Heart Center, or get inspired by the folks behind Caroling for Charity, which has raised nearly $10,000 to support local charities.
4. Lend a hand to help a neighbor decorate.
Make your neighborhood a brighter place by offering to help hang holiday lights and decorations for an elderly neighbor, or someone who could use some seasonal good will. If you need some inspiration, just check out this story about a California neighborhood that came together to decorate an elderly widow’s home after her decorations were stolen.
5. Host a holiday bake sale.
Satisfy the holiday sweet tooth while giving back to the community! Get friends and family together to host a holiday bake sale benefiting the cause of your choosing. Have leftovers? Make sure you identify a local food pantry or shelter that will accept your extra holiday treats. More tips for a successful charity bake sale.
6. Give an animal a forever home.
Spread joy that will last all year long by adopting an animal who needs a home. Visit your local animal shelter, or join the Home 4 the Holidays adoption drive at one of more than 4,000 participating shelters and rescue groups. If you don’t have room for a new pet, consider volunteering at your local shelter or donating pet supplies.
7. Provide warmth to someone in need.
As the weather gets colder, consider helping someone who can’t afford winter clothing stay warm. Many local charities and volunteer groups host coat and blanket drives for homeless shelters and families in need (for example, check out these annual coat drives hosted by our affiliates New York Cares and Hands On London!). Or, find a One Warm Coat location in your community where you can volunteer or donate your spare coats to provide warmth for those in need.