Spread Holiday Cheer without Spending!
The holidays are generally a time to spend money and time with your closest friends and family. Thought it should be a happy time, it can be very stressful for those who are short on cash and aren’t able to buy the gifts they would like to for their loved ones. This year, instead of spending money on material gifts, volunteer or donate your time to spread the holiday cheer and make a difference in someone’s life.
Depending on where you live, there are plenty of local non-profit food banks and organizations who need volunteers, especially during the holiday months. You can search online for local food banks or call your local United Way. They will be able to give you a list of homeless shelters and other agencies that are in need of volunteers. You can also contact the Salvation Army for volunteer opportunities to see if they will be delivering meals. Meals on Wheels is another popular volunteer organization that delivers meals to the elderly as well as provides company during the holiday season. You can also contact local hospitals or hospice organizations to make difference in someone’s life without spending money.
Humans aren’t the only ones who need an extra hand during the holidays. Local animal shelters are also in need of volunteers during the holidays as well. You can volunteer to clean the crates, take the dogs on walks, feed the animals, or just spend time with them! If you can, there are plenty of pets that need foster homes as well. Maybe you have never had a pet before and you want to see what it is like without making a commitment, you can even foster a pet.
Write Christmas Cards
While your countertops might be filled with holiday cards this season, others are not so fortunate. You can create holiday greeting cards and send them to those who may be alone on the holidays or need a little extra holiday cheer. This can be local hospitals, hospice care centers, and even prisons. Getting mail from a friendly stranger can make someone’s day. You can also send your holiday cards to those who work or volunteer on the holidays if you aren’t one of them. Send cards to firefighters and police officers! We all know the person standing outside your local grocery store ringing the bell for Salvation Army donations. Bring that volunteer gloves, or even just a hot drink to show your appreciation, as well as donate to their cause. A little show of appreciation can go a long way and the only money you will spend will be for a few extra greeting cards.
Make Extra Food
Are you in charge of baking for all of your holiday parties this year? Every time you bake for your personal events for work or family dinners, bake extra to donate to your local shelter! You are already putting in the time and effort to cook or bake already, why not make a little extra to donate and provide someone with a warm meal. This can work for shopping as well. If you are already shopping for a new toy for your niece or nephew, buy another one to donate to the Salvation Army or a local children’s hospital.
Whether it is for your time or your money, donating to a cause is a great way to spread holiday cheer. With such easy access to the internet these days, finding a charity online to donate money to is easier than ever! You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home. There are well-known charities you can donate to online, but you can also search sites like GoFundMe for a more personal donation where your money might go further. You can also do something as nice as pay a neighbors utility bill. If you know they are short on cash or going through a tough time, call the utility company and pay their bill for the month!
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