The holiday season is a time for celebration, gratitude, and togetherness. It's also an opportunity to reflect on the importance of giving back to our communities. As the year comes to a close, many people feel the urge to support those in need, making it the perfect time to explore different ways you can make a positive impact!
Why Give Back During the Holidays?
Foster a Sense of Community
The holidays are a time when people come together. Giving back strengthens the bonds within a community and creates a sense of unity. A bonded community is one that cares for and supports its members who are in need.
Helping Those in Need
The holiday season can be challenging for individuals and families facing financial struggles. Your efforts can provide relief, supplies, and comfort to those in need. Providing supplies to those in need can help lessen the emotional burden that can come with the season.
Volunteering and donating can teach valuable lessons about gratitude and empathy to children and adults alike. It’s important to educate our children about the needs of others and the importance of helping where we can.
What Are Some Ways to Volunteer and Donate?
Support Local Food Drives
Participate in or organize a food drive to collect non-perishable items for your local food bank. This is a tangible way to combat hunger in your community. If your local food bank doesn’t need food donations, consider putting together small bags with essential toiletry and hygiene items.
Participate in Toy Drives
Help bring joy to children in need by contributing to toy drives. Many organizations and local businesses organize these drives to collect gifts for underprivileged kids. If you’re having a hard time finding a specific toy drive, reach out to members of your community to see if there are any local families in need.
Volunteer at a Shelter
Homeless shelters and soup kitchens often require extra help during the holidays. Volunteering your time to serve meals, distribute clothing, or offer companionship can make a significant difference.
Support Adopt-a-Family Programs
Many organizations run programs that allow you to "adopt" a family for the holidays. You provide gifts, food, and essentials for a family that might be struggling. This is a great way to know you are making a direct impact on a family’s life.
Write Letters or Make Cards
Sending handwritten cards or letters to nursing homes, military personnel, or hospitals can brighten someone's day and remind them that they are not forgotten. This is a great way to make an impact if you have a busy schedule where you can only spare a few minutes every day or if you have young children at home and are looking for ways to introduce the concept of giving back to them in a way they can participate in without getting overwhelmed!
How Can I Support Non-Profit Organizations?
Non-profit organizations play a vital role in addressing various social issues. If you don’t have a non-profit in mind, seek out local non-profit organizations in your community. You’d be surprised to learn that some organizations you may think are either for-profit or government-funded are actually non-profits! Did you know the Police Activities League of Egg Harbor Township and Atlantic County Township is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization? We are not funded by taxpayer dollars and rely on public contributions, sponsorships and donations, fundraising activities, grants, and good business practices to provide our programs.
Support the Organization Financially
Make a monetary donation to a non-profit of your choice. Your contribution can be used to fund essential programs and services.
Volunteer Your Skills
Every non-profit is different and will have different needs. Reach out to the non-profit of your choice and see if they could make use of any skill-based services you can offer such as web design or photography. You can also volunteer for organizations that are in need of general volunteers like camp counselors, referees, or event moderators.
Advocating and Raising Awareness
Use your voice to raise awareness about non-profit organizations and the causes they support. Share their work on social media and encourage others to get involved. If there are non-profit organizations in your area that you didn’t know about, it’s likely that other members of your community aren’t aware of them either!