The holiday season is an important time to think of others less fortunate than yourself. If you’re new to doing charity work, picking an organization can appear more complicated than you’d expect, so we’ve collected these 10 significant ways you can give back during the holiday season.
Dine-Out. Order takeout and delivery from all of your favorite spots as well as the restaurants you’ve been meaning to try. Buy gift cards or merchandise. You can even consider catering for small household holiday gatherings.
Shop Local. Small businesses need our support this year more than ever. Order online, call in purchases or order online to pick up gifts curbside. Gift cards are an easy and popular way to support a local small business and please the people on your shopping list. This can include coffee shops, boutiques, personal services, restaurants, and other local businesses.
Donate Clothing. Donate your new and gently worn coats to children, families, veterans, and seniors. One Warm Coat has drop-off centers around the region. Make sure your coats are clean and wearable before donating them. Give a woman a new start with your gently-used clothing. Dress For Success provides support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. They are asking donors to sign up for a specific time slot to drop off.
Donate Hygiene Essentials. Lava Mae delivers dignity for those experiencing homelessness, one mobile shower at a time. You can donate hygiene essential items to stock the bus with hygiene products. Project Homeless Connect is also taking In-Kind donations via a drive or directly from their Amazon Wishlist including backpacks, sleeping bags, electronics, hygiene items and socks. Purchase or sponsor warm fleece jackets, towel sets, and throw blankets, for seniors, veterans, and other adults at risk directly from the Episcopal Community Services Wishlist.
Foster Fido. Adopt or foster a four-legged friend this season of giving. Rocket Dog Rescue saves homeless and abandoned dogs across the Bay Area. You can also ask about donating blankets, pet food, and toys.
Donate Food. Food and Fund Drives can raise awareness about hunger and mobilize your community to provide food for neighbors in need. For every $1 you donate, the SF-Marin Food Bank can distribute $5 worth of food! They are taking limited volunteers as well as food donations.
Donate Toys. Help bring the holiday spirit to patients and families of the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital by purchasing a gift from their Amazon wishlist. The Salvation Army Angel Tree is accepting donations online to #RescueChristmas for over 2.6M children in need.
Donate Time. Food Runners pick up excess perishable and prepared food from businesses such as restaurants, caterers, bakeries, hospitals, event planners, corporate cafeterias, and hotels and delivers it directly to neighborhood food programs. Glide takes volunteers on-site in small groups to serve a meal or volunteer virtually by gathering a group of friends and collect items at home.
Get crafty. Project Homeless Connect is accepting handmade face masks. To make your own face masks, use the tutorial and Submit This Form to donate masks. You can send handmade scarves, hats, and greeting cards to Veterans, First Responders, and Wounded Heroes through Operation Gratitude.
Say Thank You to Essentials Workers. Show kindness, tip big, write a thank you note, contact hospitals to provide snacks or meals, give giftcards and simply say Thank You.
Whatever you do to give back this holiday season, make sure it has an impact!
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