The holidays are a great time to give back to those less fortunate. Take a moment to perform a small act of kindness before the new year comes around! There are tons of different ways that you can give back this holiday season, below are just 15 unique ideas!
Volunteer at a local food pantry or soup kitchen through FoodPantries.
It's easy to find your local food bank, pantry, or kitchen using FoodPantries.org. Simply search by state and you will find a list of locations near you!
- Assist seniors in need through Elder Helpers.
Volunteers can choose from a variety of everyday tasks like grocery shopping, cooking, or cleaning.
- Give back to the troops with Operation Gratitude.
Volunteers get to put together care packages that are sent overseas to our military personnel who don't get to be back home during the holidays.
- Help build a home with Habitat for Humanity.
The main goal of Habitat for Humanity is to make sure all people around the world have safe and decent homes to live in. The program focuses the construction of homes but furniture and appliances are also welcomed donations.
- Find local volunteer opportunities with VolunteerMatch.
VolunteerMatch is set up just like a job search site, but instead of careers, the site lists over 100,000 charities and volunteer opportunities near you! Here are just a few more local ideas:
- Volunteer at a local children's hospital.
- Volunteer at a local animal shelter.
- Volunteer at your local senior center.
- Volunteer at your local library.
- Donate Blood with the American Red Cross.
Did you know that just one pint of donated blood has the opportunity to save up to three lives? If you can't or wouldn't like to donate, the Red Cross also has volunteer opportunities.
- Donate to the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund.
2017 was marked by a horrendous hurricane season. The American Red Cross is currently using donation dollars to help provide shelter, food, comfort, and emergency support for individuals and families affected by the hurricanes. Donations will go directly to families that need help finding stability after such a life changing natural disaster.
- Donate Old Shoes to Nike Reuse-A-Shoe.
Nike will take your old shoes and transform them into tracks, playgrounds, outdoor courts and other recreational activity areas. According to Nike, "More than 28 million pairs of shoes have been shredded to date, covering a surface area almost equal to that of Manhattan."
- Donate to Make-A-Wish.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation provides a variety of options for giving back during the holidays. You can donate money, airline miles, and even hotel points — just to name a few. One interesting perk is the option of being able to sync your Ebay account so that a portion of anything sold is donated.
Free Charitable Website Opportunities
- Visit FreeRice
This website gamifies the donation process. Simply choose from a variety of trivia topics, such as vocabulary or math, and feed people in need. FreeRice.com will donate 10 grains of rice for every trivia question answered correctly. Over 97 billion grains have been donated to date!
- Visit FreeKibble
Just like FreeRice, FreeKibble will donate 10 pieces of Kibble to dogs and cats in need for each correct answer.
- Visit AmazonSmile.
AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to donate to a charity of your choice at zero cost to you. Not to be confused, AmazonSmile offers the same products as Amazon (you can even use the same account) with the added bonus of having the option to donate .5% of your purchases to an organization in need.
- Visit GoodSearch.
Like AmazonSmile, you get the option to donate while you shop. Simply register for an account, choose a charitable cause, and browse through the site. GoodSearch offers exclusive coupons and deals while also donating part of the proceeds to a charity in need.
- Visit Welzoo.
Simply set Welzoo as your homepage, choose a charitable organization, and every time you open your browser Welzoo will donate up to 6 cents a day to your cause.
- Visit Care2.
This is a "click to donate" style website where you can choose from a variety of charitable organizations and the only thing you have to do in order to donate is click. The goal of Care2 is to connect activists around the world with other individuals, organizations, and businesses making a social impact.