It's the gift-giving season! Because this year has been incredibly challenging for many, it's a great opportunity to give back and help spread some joy. Despite the pandemic, there are still plenty of contact-free ways that you can give back while staying healthy and safe. Here are some ways to do so.
1). Support Small Businesses
Now, more than ever before, small businesses need our support! Try to order takeout once a week from a local eatery, shop for holiday gifts at a local mom and pop ( instead of ordering everything from amazon), or take an online yoga class from a local studio. Small businesses already struggle to stay alive and have been brutally impacted by the pandemic. So, make an active effort to shop local whenever possible!
2). Donate Money To a Cause You Support
While giving money can seem like a superficial gift, when it comes to helping find a cure for cancer, protecting wild spaces, helping young women stay in school etc., money can be a powerful gift. Give what you can and give to an organization that you believe in.
3). Help a Neighbor In Need
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own world that it can be hard to think about the lives of others. Check in on a neighbor, perhaps one that lives alone, and offer to help them in any way that you (safely) can. Offer to walk their dog, pick up their groceries, get their mail, etc. Small acts of kindness are extra meaningful during the holidays.
4). Volunteer Virtually
Yes, you can still volunteer! In fact, organizations such as Volunteer Match, will help you find a virtual volunteer match this holiday season. Many organizations are in need of help (contact-free), so explore the possibilities, and find a way to give back that fits for your schedule.
5). Thank Essential Workers
Essential workers have been on the front lines, fighting this pandemic since day one. It’s imperative that we thank these individuals for their strength, courage, and selflessness during these difficult times. Many essential workers won’t be able to have the time off that most of us get to be with our loved ones during the holiday. To help lift their spirits, write some thank you notes to health care workers, paramedics, firefighters and other career heroes in your area.
6). Donate To a Homeless Shelter
The holidays are a hard time on those who don't have a home to call theirs. Consider donating sanitation supplies, medical face masks, food, warm clothes and more to your local homeless shelter. Chef Soraya bowls are wonderful shelf-stable meals that you can donate to homeless shelters, as they are lightweight and only require hot water to make.
7). Give Blood
Donating blood is providing a lifesaving service. Especially if you’ve recently recovered from COVID-19, it’s extremely valuable for you to donate blood, as it can save the life of someone in critical condition with the virus. Blood banks take extra sanitary precautions so be sure to set aside some time to find a blood bank near you.
8). Donate Children's Toys
As you shop for toys the little ones in your life, buy some extras to give away. Donating unwrapped toys and children gifts to a local charity is a sure way to help bring joy to children in need.
9). Don't Forget The Animals
It’s a great time to donate towels, cat and dog food to local animal shelters. Now is also the perfect time to adopt a four-legged friend! With many working from home, having a pet can be more manageable and can provide some cuddly company during this time of social distancing.
10). Deliver Dinner To a Friend or Family Member
Order food from a local restaurant and bring it to someone who could use a good meal! This idea will support a local restaurant of your choosing and bring joy to someone you care about. There's nothing like having a warm dinner delivered to your doorstep!
11). Give Yourself The Gift Of Wellness
In order to help others, we need to take care of ourselves first. Make sure to get a flu shot, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, and find healthy ways to manage your stress and anxiety such as with exercise and meditation. Keep yourself healthy, to keep others healthy too.
12). Use Your Voice & Lead By Example
One of the most thoughtful things that you can do this holiday season, is help prevent the spread of the virus. Stay at home when you can, always wear a mask in public, wash your hands frequently, and make smart decisions. Use your voice to advocate social distancing and lead by example.