The holiday season typically means sharing memories with loved ones. While some people are often focused on shopping for gifts or cooking the perfect meal, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos and forget the true importance of the holiday season.
Due to COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to focus on gratitude and giving during the holidays. By dedicating yourself to donating money or time to local charities, you can start a new tradition for you and your family to help those in need.
How can you give back to your community during the holidays? If you live in the Dayton and Miami Valley, OH surrounding areas, use these tips to help your local community this season.
8 Ways to Give Back to Your Community and Make a Difference
Working with local charities and nonprofits can provide you a rewarding experience that will help you feel more connected to your local community. Whether you’d like to volunteer, donate, or perform random acts of kindness, here are a few ways you can give back to your community:
1. Increase Your Tips
COVID-19 hit the service industry hard this year. While the average restaurant tipping rate is 15%, consider increasing that number randomly to 50% or 25% every time you go out during the holidays. Also, don’t forget about tipping other holiday services such as your hairstylist, florist, cleaner, and more.
2. Give Recurring Monthly Donations
Are you stressed out buying gifts for the person who has “everything”? Consider giving recurring donations instead of actual presents. You can customize the donation to the individual’s passion—animal rescue adoption, women’s shelter, natural relief, etc. — so the gift is still personalized. To make it even more impactful, set up recurring donations in the person’s name. Even $5 a month can make a large impact on local organizations!
3. Volunteer at Your Local Animal Shelter
Furry friends need extra love during the holiday season, too. If you’re an animal lover, consider volunteering at your local shelter to walk, socialize, and feed animals. While most shelters offer shifts for only one hour, you could also donate needed items like blankets, food, and toys. For extra help, share pictures of adoptable pets on your social media to encourage your followers to adopt a pet in need.
4. Bake Cookies for a Nursing Home
Many seniors in nursing homes aren’t able to spend time with their loved ones during the holidays and feel isolated this time of the year. Contact your local nursing homes to see if you can drop off cookies or other baked goods to the residents. While you might not be able to walk around and deliver the goods yourself, you can create heart-warming holiday cards to engage with the residents from a safe distance.
5. Use Amazon Smile
If you’re already doing holiday shopping on Amazon, it’s wise to sign up with Amazon Smile and have a portion of everything you buy donated to a charity of your choice. All you have to do is use the smile.amazon.com URL every time you shop on the platform to easily donate money.
6. Write Letters to Deployed Military Members
The holidays are a difficult time for heroes who are unable to be with their families during the holidays. To lift their spirits, get involved in Operation Gratitude — an organization that connects Americans with military and first-responders through various service projects. If you know of local individuals who are deployed in your community, consider writing personalized letters wishing them a happy holiday and thanking them for their service.
7. Volunteer at a Homeless Shelter
Homeless shelters become overpacked and understaffed during the holiday season, especially if you’re in a cold location like Dayon and Bellbrook, OH. Consider taking a few hours out of your week to donate your time or collect items needed like toiletries, gloves, jackets, and more.
8. Sponsor a Family
Many charities arrange donors to sponsor disadvantaged families during the holiday season to help fulfill presents, clothing, and pantry good needs. In these programs, the sponsored family will give you a list of sizes and gift ideas, so you’re providing them with what they need. Your contributions will make a significant impact on each family member and make their holiday experience even more positive.
Boost Morale and Give Back to Your Community During the Holidays
The holidays are busy for everyone. However, by taking the time out of your schedule to practice selflessness and compassion, you’re able to impact the lives of others and focus on the truly important things in life. Whether you have an hour each week to volunteer or want to make a donation, focus on giving back to your community this upcoming season.
Looking to settle into a local community? Schedule a consultation with Oberer Homes to discover your perfect home.
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