We are experiencing the end of a second pandemic year, which is hard on everyone, but especially those in need. More and more people have experienced job losses, financial hits, isolation and loved ones either getting sick from or passing away as a result of the virus. Some have been inconvenienced by the events, while others have had their lives turned upside down, with risking their lives to go to work, doing whatever it takes to look after loved ones and dealing with the effects of long COVID. Therefore, there has never been a better time to pay it forward. And, believe it or not, it is not impossible to do safely and while observing COVID protocols! Check out these ideas to give back to the community this holiday season.
Idea #1: Cook a Meal and Deliver it to a Family in Need (Or, Cook a Big Meal and Deliver it to a Shelter)
Having enough food on the table is a privilege, and many are food insecure. If you love to cook, put your skills to good use by cooking a meal and delivering it to a family in need. Or, cook a larger one and deliver it to the shelter or organization. Be sure to check for food preferences/allergies, as well as confirm the delivery and time with someone in the family or a volunteer coordinator to ensure a safe and well received drop off.
Idea #2: Gather Nonperishable from Neighbors and Donate them to the Food ShelfRead More »
Idea #3: Volunteer with Animals
If you love animals, but cannot make the commitment to have a pet, volunteer to spend time at the local animal shelter. They often need help socializing animals, walking dogs and cleaning cages. You could also gather some donations to drop off as well, but be sure to check to see what they want first!
Idea #4: Make Portable Kits with Essentials
Fill new backpacks with toiletries, school supplies and other basic items to drop off at homeless shelters or schools. See if they will also take snacks and gift cards as well. You never know what someone may need and appreciate!
Idea #5: Spend time with Older Friends and Neighbors
Even if it is just via video call, catch up with older friends and neighbors on a regular basis. Bake some cookies and drop them off before. Talk with them about them lives and hear their stories. Many older people feel isolated, especially in the winter, so this may help them beat the winter blues!
Idea #6: Make Cards for Soldiers
Many major organizations hold card drives for soldiers stationed overseas. As they cannot always spend the holiday season with their families, they appreciate cards and thoughtful gestures. Volunteer to contribute, and gather pens, paper, ribbons, paper punches and more to make your cards stand out. Gather a group of friends and host a card making extravaganza to meet your desired card totals.
Idea #7: Shovel Driveways
Have older friends or neighbors with mobility needs? Offer to help shovel their snowy driveways so they can stay safe and warm inside. Plus, shoveling is good exercise, so you can squeeze in a workout, even on chillier days. Ask around for any other people who may need a similar type of assistance, and feel good about giving back.
Idea #8: Donate Old Clothes
If you have plenty of gently-used or new clothing without rips or stains, consider donating them to a thrift store, women’s shelter or career success agency to help community members land jobs, stay warm, dress for the weather and use their hard-earned money for essential purchases, like rent and food.
Idea #9: If You Can, Donate to Charity
Pick a few charities to give to. Then choose a donation that fits within your budget. Any amount counts! Only do this if you can do so without going into debt or having financial worry. You can always start doing this when you have a better handle on your finances later in life as well!
Idea #10: Give Career Advice
Do you have a peer who has just been laid off, or could use some career advice? Offer up an hour of your time to answer questions, review their application materials, lend a listening ear and give advice. Who knows, maybe they will even return the favor someday. Either way, it can be of use during these crazy times.
Idea #11: Gather up Old Gift Cards
Have gift cards lying around? Give them to those in need, trade them in through legitimate retailers for cash, and donate it to charity or use them to purchase items you will ultimately donate. That is much more useful than them collecting dust in a wallet!
Idea #12: Bring Joy
Make a festive yard display and invite others to come to come see it for a little joy. Maybe your neighborhood can get in on the action and a neighborhood stroll can be created to spread happiness and light during this uncertain time.