When making this year’s holiday gift list, consider how you might also give back to your local community. The holiday season is the perfect time of year to do this, when volunteer and donation opportunities increase. Here are a few ideas to give back in your community:
The Gift of Literacy
Only one-third of all students entering high school are proficient in reading, according to a National Assessment of Education Progress report. Brighten children’s smiles this holiday season while also giving them an opportunity to succeed at school and beyond. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation has given new toys to children in need for more than 60 years. The organization also extends its reach through a partnership with The UPS Store through the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, which provides economically disadvantaged children an opportunity to succeed in school and beyond. Donations can be made at The UPS Store locations nationwide or online at toysfortots.org/literacy.
One-hundred percent of all proceeds go to support local children and literacy programs. Your donations go even further thanks to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, which is able to purchase books at a deep discount. To find a participating location near you and make a donation that will help ensure families everywhere have access to books, visit theupsstore.com.
When you’re busy making trays of cookies for your big holiday party, consider making an extra batch or two, and encouraging friends and neighbors to do the same. With your combined efforts, you can host a bake sale, which can be a lucrative and enjoyable way to raise money for your favorite charity.
If you don’t have time to organize an event like this, you can still give back through your baking. Wrap packs of cookies or other goodies in bags as thank you gifts to your children’s teachers, coaches and others in your community who have served or been kind to your family all year.
Volunteer Your Time
One of the best ways to give back is by donating your valuable time. Make a trip to a local nursing home and spend time with residents who may not have family or anyone else to visit them this season. Additionally, soup kitchens are often in need of extra hands during the holidays. Ask your local organizations about volunteer opportunities.
While holiday wish lists are often full of fun gadgets, clothes and toys, there are still many in your community lacking more basic necessities. This season, think beyond your personal wants and do your best to give back.