In the midst of the shopping-driven buzz of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, it's all too easy to forget the true "reason for the season". We're all for a good sale, but want to slow down a bit to remember a few ways to use your time, money, and voice for good this Holiday season.
Giving back doesn't require a sizeable budget, or even hours of spare time. It just takes a little bit of forethought and intention - something we all can spare.
Here are a few quick ideas of ways you can give back this year:
Research local options for where you can serve as a volunteer. More often than not, places like homeless shelters and other non-profits will always welcome extra hands. Use Volunteer Matchas a resource to find options in your area!
Shorten your Christmas list this year (and reduce clutter) by asking loved ones to donate to your favorite charitable cause in your name for Christmas.
When you buy gifts for others, choose to support small businesses over large corporations. The phrase "when you buy from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance" is totally true.
The holidays can be lonely for many people without family or friends nearby. Consider reaching out to a new neighbor or someone in your community who may not have other plans and welcome them into your home.
There's no better way to spread holiday cheer than by singing carols to those who might be sick or limited in their ability to go home for the holiday. Get a group of friends together, brush up on your Christmas classics, and make it a date.
Many organizations offer sponsorship of at-risk children or endangered animals for a small fee each month. This kind of gift is literally life-changing and can be an exciting introduction to giving back for children especially.
They may seem to have it all together, but there's always a wish list a mile long at local schools. Call your child's school (or one in your neighborhood) and ask how you can help them by supplying something they need for the school year.