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6 Ways to Give Back During the Holidays

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If you’ve ever helped someone by donating or volunteering, chances are, you felt pretty good about it. Whether it’s food, money, or time you’re giving, nothing beats that warm fuzzy feeling. Studies show that when people donate to non-profits, the brain releases feel-good chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. Moreover, those who volunteer regularly experience more happiness and increased physical and mental health. This is truly a win-win – especially during the holiday season.

If you’re thinking that the holidays have already siphoned all your spare cash, fear not. After all, giving financial support to those in need is only one of the ways to give back. You can still make a big difference in someone’s life. Read on to get different ideas to give back during the holidays.. Some of the following will take money, but others will cost you only your time and effort. Either way — the payback is huge.


1. Adopt a Family

One of the most common ways to give back this holiday season is to contact one of the “Adopt a Family” services. These nationwide programs help connect families who are struggling to families or individuals who want to spread holiday cheer. Regardless of which type of program you choose to participate in, the process is generally the same. You’ll receive information about the children in a family and what they’d like for Christmas. Then, you get the fun of shopping for these kids, and sometimes their parents too, and gifting them all anonymously.

When considering how to give back during the holiday season, this one’s a winner. By adopting a family, you’re not only giving children the Christmas they deserve, but you’re also giving them hope. Parents will feel relieved to know their youngsters will enjoy their holiday regardless of the family’s current financial situation.


2. Donate to a Shelter

There are ways to give back this holiday season without spending a lot of money. If you’re a parent, have your kids help you round up all the gently used toys, books, and games they’ve outgrown. Toys in good shape can be spruced up and donated to a shelter that houses families. If you involve your own children in the process, you’ll also be teaching them a valuable lesson in giving. Once the kids’ stuff is done, go through the same process with your own clothes, books, household items, and holiday decorations. This is another win-win as you get to de-clutter. Just make sure the goods you’re donating are clean and attractive.


3. Share a Meal or Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen

Festive gatherings with family and friends make up a huge part of the holiday season. While most of us are fortunate to enjoy delicious foods and fun parties, many folks sadly go without. You can make a big difference by inviting an elderly neighbor who lives alone, for example, to your holiday dinner. A popular way to give back is to volunteer at a local soup kitchen. Consider volunteering in January or throughout the year, when volunteer numbers decrease. If you have older children, volunteering at a soup kitchen will help provide them with perspective and allow them to give back during the holidays, too.


4. Volunteer with a Crisis Hotline

The holidays may feel joyous to some, but for others, this time of year can trigger intense emotions. High expectations, family dynamics, and stress can be difficult for any of us, but can be a nightmare for those with mental health issues. You can make a difference in someone’s life by signing up to volunteer with a crisis hotline. By receiving training and then fielding calls from troubled individuals, you’ll be giving back in ways that you never thought possible before. You may even save a life.


5. Green Your Holiday

Deciding to become more eco-conscious during the holidays (or anytime of year) is one of the smartest and most altruistic actions you can take. Not only are you supporting yourself and your household, but you’re giving back to the planet, too. To enjoy more sustainable holidays, you’ll want to start conserving electricity and water, and re-using and recycling as much as possible. If you can make your home, gifts, and food more sustainable, you’ll be giving back in multiple ways.


6. Invest in Emergency Winter Gear

When coming up with ideas to give back during the holidays, investing in emergency preparedness gear may not immediately come to mind. However, you could end up providing invaluable help to neighbors or travelers when they need it most if you buy safety gear in advance.

For instance, if you’re in an area that gets hit by ice or snowstorms in winter, you may come across a car that has slid off the road and into a ditch. If you’ve purchased snow chains, and have a sturdy four-wheel drive car or truck, you can help pull people out of danger. Other types of supplies to consider are emergency generators for power, wood stoves for cooking without power, and plenty of salt for ice.

Giving back for the holidays doesn’t have to be in the form of money, food, or other charitable donations. It could come in the form of providing life-saving support in times of winter crisis.


Top Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

All the above ways to give back will provide invaluable holiday cheer to those who need it the most. As we deal with the aftermath and prolonged economic effects of the global pandemic, we could all use a little extra cheer this winter, so give what you can – even if it’s just the kindness of a smile or a friendly word.

If you run into any setbacks during the holidays, don’t hesitate to contact us through our 24/7 claim service. Our helpful claims agents will make sure your holiday doesn’t get derailed.



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