Happy Wednesday and welcome back!
I hope you are all having a great week so far. Christmas is right around the corner, you guys! Time is going so fast, I can hardly keep up. Although I encourage everyone to give back all year long, the holidays are a time when we should all make an extra effort to share the love with those in need.
I have compiled a list of 5 easy ways you can give back! I encourage you to choose one thing that you can do to make a difference. Keep in mind that for a lot of people, Christmas is not always a happy time. Some children do not receive gifts, some are in the cold on the streets, and some are grieving over lost loved ones. That’s why it is so important for us all to do our part. Please let me know if you get a chance to try out one of these good deeds in your city!
This one is a given. There are so many organizations that could use your help, even if it is just for a few hours. Animal Shelters and Senior Homes are good places to start. Most cities also have Soup Kitchens you can volunteer at during the holidays. Some good organizations in Toronto that are looking for volunteers this year are: Holiday Helpers, The Salvation Army, Second Harvest & Habitat for Humanity. Consider volunteering with one of these organizations if you have a bit of extra time this year!
The holidays are a time when we are given ample opportunities to donate in clothing, food, and money to those that may often have to go without. Try to specifically look out for toy drives, shelters, & food banks. Some reputable organizations in Toronto that I would recommend considering are: Holiday Helpers, The CHUM City Christmas Wish, Toronto Firefighters Toy Drive, CTV’s Toy Mountain, Children’s Wish Foundation, Ontario Association of Food Banks, Toronto Distress Centre & Toronto Humane Society.
3. Perform an Act of Kindness:
There is no time like now. Make an effort this month to go out of your way to make someone else’s day just a little bit better. For a full list of “acts of kindness” ideas, read my post on Kindness. My favourites are: in the drive-thru, pay for the person behind you (I’ve been on both sides of this one, and let me tell you, my day was MADE both times), leave a nice note on someones windshield, offer up your seat on public transportation, or send flowers to someone’s work!
4. Help a Neighbour:
Is there someone in your neighbourhood who could benefit from an extra set of hands? Make yourself useful and help out with shovelling the snow or picking up the mail. In particular, elderly folks really appreciate a small gesture such as this. If you know someone in your community who is going through a particularly rough time (maybe recently lost someone) why not stop by for a visit? Bring them a coffee or something freshly baked. This act of kindness will go a long way and you WILL be making a huge difference.
5. Homeless Care Packages
This is the way I choose to give back during the holidays. For the past two years, my two best-friends and I take their kids (they are now 5 and 6), and we all head downtown to hand out homeless care packages. We typically hit up our local Dollarama and fill up extra-large Ziploc bags with items such as hats, mittens, scarves, socks, lip balm, toothbrush and paste, non-perishable food items, Tim Horton’s gift-cards, etc. We make around 10 and let the kids hand them out to the homeless. They have always been so gracious and appreciative towards the kids. Not only does this make a difference to those who do not have a home, but it’s a great example for the kids and that’s a big reason why we bring them along. If you decide to do this, keep in mind that it does not have to cost you a lot. It’s the thought that counts.
I hope this post encouraged you to try to find a way to give back this holiday season. If you don’t have a lot of free time, consider donating! If you don’t have a lot of extra cash, try donating a bit of your time! Again, as I mentioned, it doesn’t have to be big, it is the thought that counts. The change in your pocket will make a difference.
Whatever you can do helps!
I wish you all a fantastic week and I look forward to talking to you soon!
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