The holiday season can often lead to excess spending. After a season of gift giving and overconsumption, it’s important to hold onto that holiday spirit and continue to give back to your friends, family and community. You don’t have to spend money on gifts of bake dozens of Christmas cookies, but donating your time and money to help others is just as important and meaningful. Here are 6 ways you can give back after the holiday season.
Volunteer at a shelter: Whether you’re cuddling puppies at an animal shelter or feeding the homeless, be there to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate. Volunteering in your community doesn’t take much time and rarely does it take money. To find local charities in your area that need a helping hand, do some research to choose an organization that best fit your values.
Run a drive for winter supplies: Depending on where you live, the winter season can bring bitter cold weather with lots of snowfall. Host a collection drive for winter supplies such as blankets, coats, gloves, hats, heaters and other essentials that will help keep others warm all season long.
Donate toys: After the holidays end, you’ll most likely find yourself buried under all sorts of gifts. Donate some of the toys your children received as presents or some of the gadgets you bought to those in need. Some organizations host local toy drives all year!
Send a care package to the troops: One of the most selfless things you can do this season is prepare a care package for members of the military. Many are not able to come home and spend time with family and friends during the holiday season. Be sure to show your appreciation for their efforts and spread some cheer.
Donate blood: Find a blood donation drive in your area to provide vital donations to those in need. Donating blood only takes about an hour and will have an everlasting impact on the recipient.
Help the community clean up: Contact your municipal offices and volunteer to clean up a local park, lake, beach or other public spaces. The holiday season brings more foot traffic and often leads to higher amount of litter and uncleared holiday decorations. Make your home a nicer place to live and help pick up leftover trash.
Use these tips to kickstart a season of giving, or find something unique to yourself that you’re passionate about supporting. Every town has ample opportunity for involvement in volunteer events or donation-based support. Pick an organization and get plugged in!