December is in full swing, so why not spread some holiday cheer? The holiday season is an important time to think of others less fortunate than yourself. A simple way to show kindness this season and all year long is to say thank you to essential workers. Contact hospitals, fire and police stations to provide snacks or meals, give gift cards or simply say ‘Thank You’. 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.

Shop Local. Small businesses and local artists need our support this year. 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. Dress For Success provides support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. They are also asking for unopened makeup, pants, blazers, and handbags.

Donate Hygiene Essentials. Project Homeless Connect is also taking In-Kind donations via a drive or directly from their Amazon Wishlist including much needed sleeping bags, backpacks, electronics, hygiene items and socks. Help empower a family or individual to reach their goals by donating hygiene items to Simply the Basics’ hygiene bank.

Don’t Forget Fido. Donate new and gently-used items like towels, blankets, dog harnesses, and flat sheets. Bring your donations in person or shop the SFSPCA Amazon Wish lists. Adopt or foster a four-legged friend this season of giving through Rocket Dog Rescue.

Donate Food. Food and Fund Drives can raise awareness about hunger and mobilize your community to provide food for neighbors in need. Every $1 donated can turn into enough food for 2 healthy meals for local families. One way to support those who are facing food insecurity is to start your own Virtual Food Drive.

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. You may also donate directly to the Project Cheer Virtual Toy Drive is a crowdfunding campaign that raises money so our staff can buy exactly what patients want and the hospital needs. The Salvation Army Angel Tree is accepting donations online to provide new clothing and toys to more than one-million children in need each year.

Donate Time. Giving your time and energy to GLIDE programs is a great way to help those in need while forging personal connections within our community including toy sorting, meal delivery. Want to be Santa’s Helper this year? Volunteer with the Salvation Army San Francisco to deliver Christmas meals or pack toys for children in need.

Get Crafty. You can send decorated pillowcases, make paracord lanyards and write letters to Veterans, First Responders, and Wounded Heroes through Operation Gratitude. Make handmade cards to that will make seniors smile as you tap into your artistic side to make Cards for Seniors that Meals on Wheels will distribute (along with holiday meals) to lift the spirits of homebound and isolated seniors and adults with disabilities.

Donate Your Old Cell. Operation Recycling is a joint recycling project of and Operation Gratitude. All recycling proceeds will support Operation Gratitude’s efforts to send care packages to U.S. service members & first responders worldwide.

Dine-Out + Tip Big. Order takeout and delivery from all 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. Most people leave between 15 to 20 percent, but why not make someone’s day by tipping above and beyond the expected amount? This is sure to make someone’s day.

Whatever you do to give back this holiday season, make sure it has an impact.

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