The winter holidays are a joyous time of year. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to have the extravagant festivities others get to experience time and time again. For financial and psychological reasons, Christmas can actually promote the winter blues or seasonal depression for some. It may spark a realization that they don’t have enough money to afford gifts or not enough time to spend with loved ones. In more extreme cases, people may not have basic necessities like shelter, food, or water.
Instead of just receiving this holiday season, one can give the gift of compassion through contributing their time and efforts to some of the following volunteer opportunities.
A personal volunteer activity to involve one’s family and community in is creating blessing bags. Blessing bags are, commonly referred to as care packages, are essentially gift bags containing basic necessities or items that may be of good use. Things like toothpaste, baby wipes, shampoo, blankets, and bottled water can be added to these packages for the homeless or underprivileged. One can even create goody bags full of school supplies for children who may not have access to such resources.
Volunteer at Your Local Food Shelter
The local food shelter is usually short on volunteers and can use all the help they can get. Responsibilities at a food shelter entails preparing meals for the homeless, handing out food, and washing the dishes afterwards. One doesn’t even need to do kitchen duty to volunteer. Some people will greatly appreciate the company and conversation. Even talking with the people there and providing social interaction can be enough to make a change.
Host a Toy Drive
To host a toy drive, one should research and choose their nonprofit recipient of choice, set dates for the drive, and promote the drive itself through means of flyers and social media. By taking this idea online, it can reach even more people who would also like to donate to this generous cause. Toy drives operate by collecting toys or money for those in need. Or, one can send the proceeds to a charity of their choice.
Christmas caroling is a great group activity for the holidays if you and your friends or family are willing to brave the cold. Typically, people go door to door in their communities singing holiday songs to spread the spirit of Christmas. Some people also do this for charity. However, a group can visit a nursing home or their local homeless shelter to provide entertainment for those who will greatly appreciate such a kind and endearing act.