There are numerous ways to help those in need over the holidays, whether it be homeless people, animals or struggling families. No matter your holiday budget, you can give as much or as little as you are able. Give the valuable gift of your time, necessities for those who cannot get them or toys for children who will get nothing else this Christmas. How else can you give to those in need over the holidays?
Make blankets and warm clothing to donate
Local businesses will often ask for donations of warm winter clothing or blankets over the holidays. Find out where you can give these items locally, and spend some time making these items this winter. If you are crafty, you might knit, sew or crochet something to give to those in need. Even if you don’t have one of these skills, it is very easy to make cozy blanket to keep someone warm over the winter. Simply buy two pieces of fleece fabric, each approximately two to two-and-a-half yards long. Place them together, with the “right” sides facing away from each other, and cut inch-long strips all the way around. Finish by tying the strips together to create a warm, fuzzy tie blanket.
Donate your time to charity
Find out where the local homeless shelters, soup kitchens, humane societies or other charities are in your area. Call to find out how you can help by donating your time. Often, these places can use extra help, especially over the holidays.
Donate gently used items to charity
Over the holidays, you will likely accumulate a large number of new items in your home, particularly if you have children. Before Christmas arrives, sort through any clothes in the household and donate any gently-used clothing that are no longer needed. The same goes for toys, books and anything that has been unused for a long period of time, including pet supplies.
Buy gifts for an “adopted” child or family
You may have heard of local programs that will allow you to “adopt” a child or a family who will otherwise get nothing for Christmas. This often takes place in malls. Choose someone for whom you can buy the toy or item they want–or need–this year. It takes very little time and will give you a sense of satisfaction to know that a child in your area will smile when they wake up this Christmas morning.
Put together a gift basket for a struggling family
Do you know of a family who is struggling to put food on the table? Whose children will probably not get anything for Christmas this year? Put together a basket of food items so they can be sure to have a nice meal this holiday. Or, wrap a gift for each member of the family so they will all have something to open Christmas morning.
More from Tonya:
How Fargo, ND residents can help homeless people
Boy makes homeless shelter from trash
National Homeless Animals Day