As the year winds down, be prepare to gather together and surround ourselves with loved ones and celebrate all we hold dear. While we shop and wrap, bake and decorate, let us also remember those who are not afforded the same luxuries. Many of us are privledged to have warm homes, food in our bellies, and blankets to keep us comfortable on those long, cold nights.
While we make our to-do lists and the hustle and bustle starts, let us not forget what truly makes this time of year so special, the art of giving - not just to those we love but also those who need a little extra hand. Those who are struggling; those who are down on their luck; those who are battling addiction or mental illness; those who are poor and hungry. Those who are walking a different path than ours, on a different journey, facing a vast array of hurdles and setbacks.
In hopes of helping you give back to your community and the people we brush shoulders with every day, here are five unique ways to go above and beyond this Holiday season:
Volunteer With Animals
There are so many four-legged fur babies out there well waiting patiently for their forever homes. While you may not be able to adopt or foster one of these amazing pets, it makes a huge difference to donate even an hour of your time to brush, walk or simply play with a four-legged friend.
Stop by your local shelter or rescue today and ask about how you can help make a difference in an animals life.
We understand how easy it is to swing by a box store and pick up everything on your gift list in one fell swoop. One-stop-shopping sure is appealing at this time of year when the weather is nippy and the days are shorter. This year why not try investing in small businesses and pick up items from local shops or craft fairs? Not only will your gifts be a little more uniquebut you'll also be giving a boost to a small business and the community.
Gather & Give
These days with social media we are blessed with the ability to quickly assemble a team of people to make a difference. Create a blanket or jacket drive on Facebook and invite people to drop coats and warm items like mittens, toques and scarves off at your home. Take friends and family into town to hand them out to those in need. You can also drop these items off at women's shelters or transition houses. Let's try to keep as many hands, ears and noses warm this year.
Adopt A Family
If you do have a little extra money this year, there is the wonderful option of adopting a local family in the hopes of making their Christmas a little brighter. A quick Google search for organizations in your area will help you find out how you can help a family in need. Hamper and sponsorship programs are a great way to make a difference.
Raid Your Toy-Box
If your children's toy-box is overflowing why not take the opportunity to purge. Instead of dropping them off at the thrift shop, wrap them up and take them to your local hospital. The children's ward is always looking for special gifts for the children and ways to distract them. Don't have a toy-box to raid? Maybe friends and family members do.
In addition to these suggestions, there are always the tried and tested ways of making a difference. Donate to the food bank, knit hats for the newborns in the maternity ward, collect children's books for elementary schools in need, giveaway clothing to shelters, donate blood, or simply pay for the coffee of the person in line behind you.
This holiday season let us remember that kindness is key and it happens to be priceless.
Love, Generations Laser