We have a lot to be grateful for – last week we celebrated our 25th Anniversary at Lagunitas Community Room surrounded by friends, partners, and supporters who have helped make 25 years of individual transformation and community impact possible. We have bold plans for the year ahead and hope you’ll be a part of our journey for the next 25 years.
As we enter the busy holiday season, we encourage you to pause and take time to reflect on those things for which you are grateful, as well as how you can create a season of meaningful giving.
The holidays are a special reminder to take care of our neighbors, community, and the greater world. Here are 11 ideas for how you can give back:
- Be a Hunger Hero: Food Banks (and food pantries) fill an important need in our communities by making sure fewer of our neighbors go to bed hungry. Groceries, personal hygiene items, and volunteers are needed this time of year. Consider hosting a food drive at your workplace to bolster your giving. Find your local food bank.
- Hospital Visits: Check with a local hospital to see what programs it offers to provide support for those who can’t make it home for the holidays.
- Pass on the Gifts: Instead of receiving gifts from family and friends, ask that they donate to your favorite nonprofit or an organization of their choice. Share what you’re doing to encourage others to follow your lead.
- Bake Extras: Surprise a neighbor by dropping by with cookies or other special treats. Need recipe ideas? Try these holiday favorites.
- Volunteer: Spend a few hours volunteering – consider a nonprofit you’ve never heard of as a way to learn something new. Share what you learn with others.
- Create Warmth: By donating socks, gloves, hats, or blankets to a homeless shelter you’ll help your neighbors stay warm during the winter season.
- Donate Blood: While donating blood isn’t often thought of as a way to give back during the holidays, it is always needed. Visit the American Red Cross to find a blood drive near you.
- Spend Time with Seniors: Many seniors don’t have family or friends nearby – a visit from you can provide companionship and comfort. Consider inviting someone to your family gathering. Check with your local retirement or nursing care centers for opportunities.
- Join a Toy Drive: Bring joy to a child by buying a new and unwrapped toy for them through the Toys for Tots program.
- Foster an Animal: Animal shelters can be full during the winter, but you can help by giving our furry friends a warm, temporary home for the holidays. You can also offer to watch pets for friends or family while they are out of town.
- Be Kind(er): We can all use extra encouragement this time of year, and a little kindness goes a long way. Smiling, saying “good morning,” holding doors open, or offering to pay for a stranger’s coffee are small gestures that can add up to big impact.
What are your traditions for giving back during the holidays? Please share your ideas for spreading holiday cheer.