When you think of the holidays, what do you picture? Extended family gathered around a dinner table with a feast set in front of them? Wrapping gifts while sipping on hot chocolate? The truth is that while many of us are fortunate enough to have these experiences, many of our fellow community members are not. Whether because of job loss, a medical condition or another circumstance, many individuals and families in our community will be without basic necessities this holiday season, let alone the means to have a holiday celebration. But we can all help. There are some great organizations in our community that we can work through. There are also some things you and your family can do to help those who need assistance this holiday season. Take a look at the list and identify which good deeds you can do this holiday season.
- Make food and dish it out- cookies and casseroles can be great gifts this time of year. You can provide them for those who don’t have the means or are short on food, as well firefighters, police officers and other public servants.
- Pack stockings for the homeless- pick out some cheap stockings and fill them with practical items. These can range from food and drink (granola bars, bottles of water, etc.) to gloves, socks and hygiene items.
- Donate old toys- kids’ toys and games can get pricey in a hurry. Purge your kids’ toys to donate to kids who aren’t as fortunate.
- Pay a visit to a local nursing home- the holidays can be tough times for elderly people living in nursing homes. A small visit or gift from a stranger could brighten their day, or even make their entire week.
- “Adopt” a family- there are many ways you can support families in our community. A food pantry would be a good place to start to find out about families in need and support them throughout the winter, the toughest time for families in need.
- Donate to a food bank- winter, especially in our area, is a difficult part of the year; it is far worse if you don’t have enough food. Food banks and food pantries could put your donation to good use.
- Have family members make a donation in your name- replace one thing on your Christmas list with the wish that in lieu of a present, a donation is made in your name to the charity of your choice.