Ways To Give Back During The Holidays

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While everyone is on the hunt for Hatchimals, finding a new Apple product to gift & navigating through the crowded mall parking lots, others are worried about having to explain to their children why they don’t have much under the tree, some are hurting from the loss of a loved one & others don’t have a roof over their head. The animal lover in me has me thinking about all of the cold & homeless animals & the ones living in a shelter, too.

The million dollar question this time of year seems to be “what do you want for Christmas?”

I have been asked countless times by my family and boyfriend. When I take a step back & ask myself, “what do I really need?” I struggle to come up with anything. Yes it would be nice to get a new purse, or maybe some new boots, but I don’t NEED them. As I’ve gotten older I have formed a better understanding of want vs. need.

*personal story time that I swear has a good meaning*

I was listening to 95.9 The Ranch on the way to class yesterday & they had someone from the local animal shelter on air talking about all of the dogs that needed homes. I got to thinking that they probably lay on cold concrete and that the shelter may be in need of pet food, and then a lightbulb went off! I called my boyfriend & said “you know how you’ve been asking me what I want for Christmas? Well I’m listening to the radio & they have people from the animal shelter talking & I’ve been thinking..” I was quickly cut off with a “NO!” (How crazy & absurd of him to think I would ask for another dog!!!!!!) I said, “no no, I don’t want to adopt one, but I do want to help them!” I explained that instead of him getting me a gift I wanted him to use the money he intended to spend on me & put it towards a helpful cause of my choice! Some of the purses I was looking at were around $500, think about how many dog beds that would buy!!

So enough of story time. During this time of year, I challenge you to do something similar. The next time someone asks you what you want, pick out a cause that’s close to your heart & have someone help it rather than getting you something!

The Angel Tree is great, but if you can’t commit to something that large, give jackets & winter wear to the homeless, donate to your local food bank, go buy $5 Hot & Ready Little Caesar’s Pizzas & hand them out to the homeless, practice random acts of kindness by paying for the cars that end up behind you in the drive through or donate money to an organization of your choice.

Other ideas on how to give back:

  • Toys For Tots
  • Leave a treat in the mailbox for your mail carrier – they work super long hours this time of year!
  • Be a Dollar Store Angel! Leave hidden $1 bills laying around stores (or bigger bills if you’re feeling generous) The little surprise is bound to end up in the hands of someone who truly needs it.
  • Make gift baskets for children who spend the holidays in the hospital!
  • Simply visit the homeless shelter, talk to a few people & maybe hand out some candy or happy little treats!
  • Bake cookies for your local firemen, police officers, EMT, first responders & public service men & women!

Become familiar with your surroundings & your community.
Start thinking less about yourself & more about others.
Make giving graciously a part of your life year-round, it doesn’t take much to be a blessing in someones life!

Merry Christmas friends!

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