Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

Happy Julidays, Day 4!

One of the greatest joys of the holiday season is finding great gifts for the people you love, but the gifting doesn’t have to stop there. This season, take the opportunity to spread the holiday cheer and give back to the people that need it most through these amazing causes.

Gift a box to an awesome foster youth this holiday!

Together We Rise is a non-profit organization which helps improves the lives of foster children all over America, not just through donations, but also with service-learning activities aimed to help volunteers understand the situation in which these kids live in a little better.

This holiday season, you could receive the materials to make 10 boxes starting at a donation of $250.00. To learn more, please visit this page.

twr-givingback-box

Provide relief to Puerto Rico

It’s been nearly 3 months since Hurricane Maria struck the island of Puerto Rico. Thousands of Americans are still left without power and other basic resources needed to live their everyday lives. While there have been a lot of natural disasters that have plagued various areas of the world this year, as well as other tragedies, our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters desperately need our help.

Here are some great ways you can send relief:

  • Adopt a Family in PR – Through this organization, donors can sign up to send a Puerto Rican family monthly care packages for 3,6,9 or 12 months. These boxes would help PR families meet their monthly basic needs.
  • If you are unable to commit to a month-to-month plan, you can always send a package through these Amazon Wish Lists or send a payment through other relief organizations, like the American Red Cross.

pr

Donate to your local schools

According to an article on Education Week, one teacher spends about $600 of his/her own money a year on basic supplies needed for the classroom. When you consider all the teachers in the country, these expenses can easily total upwards of $1 billion a year! 

Help your child’s teacher this holiday season by donating money to their class fund, basic supplies, or gently used books to add to the classroom or school’s library. Your donation wouldn’t only help the teacher and school, but would improve the quality of your child’s learning experience, as well.sckoo

Help an animal find a fur-ever home.

If you’re able to this holiday season, adopt a well-deserving animal from your local humane society or rescue shelter. Not only will you have accomplished a great deed, but you’ll get a lovable, furry friend who would be a great addition to your home and family.

Adoption isn’t the only way you can help organizations like these out. Check and see if they have volunteering opportunities to help socialize kittens, cats, puppies and dogs so that they can get adopted out easier. A lot of the animals at these centers have been through traumatic events, and while they’re generally loving and kind, their experiences could have caused them to have a scared or rough exterior. With your time, you could help make these animals ready to find their fur-ever home.

doggo

Donate clothes and reusable items as easy as 1,2,3!

If you’re short on time or need to stay on a strict holiday budget, donating used clothes to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or religious organization is a great way to give back to someone in need.

My family regularly donates to Vietnam Vets of America. You don’t even need to leave your house for this! Simply set up a pick-up, either on the phone or on their website, leave clearly marked VVA items on your porch, and their driver will pick it up and leave a tax deduction receipt for you!

vva
Let our troops and first responders know you care.

One of the great organizations that my sorority once contributed to is Operation Gratitude, which helps everyday citizens send letters or care packages to our amazing troops, veterans, new recruits and first responders. Granted, a letter isn’t a big enough thank you or payment for all the work these men and women do, but it’s definitely something that is heartfelt and will bring a smile to their faces this season. A lot of these men and women are either working through the weekends and holidays, or thousands of miles away and split from their families. Sometimes kind words from a stranger can be the greatest present.

To learn more, visit their site.

opg

Put a smile on a brave child’s face.

Troops and first responders aren’t the only ones that can use an awesome card this holiday season. The children at Children’s Hospital LA love receiving these compassionate notes while hospitalized. You never know, your words could help a child get through a difficult treatment. The hospital has very specific guidelines for you to follow, which are in place to protect the patients, so please read them before sending.

If you’re not in the LA area, or would like to make a similar gesture to your local children’s hospital or children’s wing, I would try contacting the hospital, and they’ll provide you with further details. If a program like this doesn’t exist, it’d be awesome to start one this holiday season!

chla

Donate new and unwrapped toys to deserving children in your neighborhood!

Another way my family gives back during the holidays is by organizing a toy drive through our city’s fire and police departments. We have an annual holiday party a few days before Christmas, and invite our family, friends, and other members of the community. It’s a great time to catch up and bask in the magic of the season together. All we ask is that each attendee bring a new and unwrapped toy to donate to our local fire and police departments, which benefits less fortunate children and families in the area. Santa comes with a full on motorcade to visit and take pictures with the kids (and my adult friends), and it’s a really fun time.

toy

How do you give back?

Of course, you can donate to any of your favorite charities this season. How do you and your family give back during the holidays? I’d love to know! Please share your stories in the comment section! Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe, so you never miss out on new content!

Happy giving!

XO, Julia

 

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