Get into the Giving Spirit: Volunteer!
The holidays are a time of giving, receiving and visiting loved ones. Because it can be busy and stressful, it can be hard to make time for others in your community. But why not press the pause button on some holiday revelry and get into the holiday spirit by volunteering and helping those in need?
Spread some holiday cheer
Many organizations need extra volunteers during this season to ensure everyone can have a happy holiday. If you’re unsure where to begin, just try reaching out to organizations in your community. Local soup kitchens, nursing or retirement homes, non-profits, hospitals and animal shelters are a good place to start and can always use an extra pair of helping hands. Consider helping these organizations by volunteering to:
- Devote your time. Time is one of the most valuable assets, so devoting a couple hours per week or month to an organization can be a huge help. Ask them ahead of time what they’d like help with so you can be prepared with the correct attire and materials.
- Shop for needed items. Volunteering to shop for needed items will save site workers valuable time and energy. There may be a specific want depending on the season, but you usually can’t go wrong by bringing food or clothing items. Try grabbing pantry staples, such as canned goods, and ask if they can accommodate fresh fruit or produce. You could also pick up materials such as socks, pillow cases, blankets, water bottles, and various toiletries to donate. Animal shelters usually need food, toys, blankets, bath towels and treats for their rescues.
- Create care packages. Many organizations have volunteers help to assemble care packages. These can include a variety of things such as treats, toiletries, blankets, clothing, games and more!
- Prepare meals. Volunteer your time to help prepare meals for the holidays. Don’t worry if you don’t have lots of experience in the kitchen—there will be others there to help you succeed.
- Spread the word. You can help organizations by spreading the word that they need help. Post on your social media accounts, tell your friends and share your experiences with your family. Hearing about your experiences may encourage more people to join in!
Reap the rewards of volunteering
Studies have shown that as you perform good deeds for others, your mood, happiness and satisfaction levels increase. This isn’t surprising, as volunteering allows you to lead by example, encouraging everyone you encounter along the way.
Make an impact this holiday season!
Lend a hand to help those in need and keep in mind that no contribution is too small! Your time, money, commitment and service is appreciated by all those involved this season.
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This article is for informational purposes only, and is not meant as medical advice.