November and December are my favorite months of the year besides March. While others may enjoy these months for the variety of food, family gatherings, gift wrapping and holiday shopping, I enjoy the opportunity to give. You often hear it’s better to give than it is to receive, and I believe this is true. There’s something about the power of giving that just makes me feel like I made a difference in the lives of others afterwards.
I believe sometimes we become so wrapped in the cosmetics of the holidays that we forget about the small values and lessons learned through giving. The act of giving can be completed so effortlessly, but it can touch a magnitude of people. For instance, last year, I volunteered as a gift wrapper for Orphans to Ambassadors during the holiday season. This Saturday afternoon, I will be volunteering to provide a hot meal to the local area individuals who are in need. I know regardless if I volunteer for an hour or two, someone’s life will be impacted by the gift of service.
If you are looking for ways to serve or give during this season, here are a few ideas:
You are able to provide them with food, purchase presents, or make a monetary contribution to assist them in their needs.
Donate your Winter Wear
Do you have a jacket that you or someone you know can no longer wear? Or did you find gloves on sale for $.50 during Black Friday this year? Can you crochet? This would be a great time to donate jackets, gloves, and scarves to those who cannot afford to on their own.
Visit a Senior
According to the Senior Source, the majority of senior citizens in nursing homes never get visitors. If you are unable to visit a senior, send him or her a holiday card.
The Marine Toys for Toys and similar foundations collect gifts for children from financial hardship families. You can simply purchase a new toy especially during Black Friday for less than $5 and donate towards the cause. If you want to be really charismatic, you can orchestrate a toy drive at your local church or school to collect donations for children in need. They are also always looking for volunteers to assist in the sorting and filing process.
Animals need love too! There are ways for pet lovers to give to these fun creatures. You can volunteer at an animal shelter working in the kennel, donate animal food, or even adopt a pet.
The gift of giving goes a long way. If you are interested in learning more about it, check out http://www.volunteermatch.org for more opportunities.