Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

The winter holidays bring out the best in people, reminding us all it’s better to give than to receive. Across the nation, people are thinking of ways to give back during the holidays.

Ways to give back to your community range from the simple to the creative. This year, why not try some of these ways to give back during the holidays?

Simple Ways to Give Back

Giving back doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. In fact, often it’s the simple ways to give back that have the most impact. A smile, a door held open, or an offer of a cup of coffee can make all the difference in someone’s life. Simple ways to give back include:

  • Clearing snow from an elderly neighbor’s sidewalk
  • Committing to a small monthly donation to charity
  • Giving people genuine compliments
  • Inviting an elderly neighbor to dinner
  • Leaving a cheery thank-you note for someone
  • Leaving a generous tip for a barista or waiter
  • Reconnecting with an old friend
  • Smiling at a stranger

Becoming an organ donor is a simple way to give back with a great potential to help people. Taking a few minutes out of your day now could save the lives or ease the suffering of multiple people in the future.

man shoveling snow

Ways to Give Back to Your Community

Giving back during the holidays often means helping make life easier for less fortunate members of society, thanking the men and women who keep us safe, or working to make the community a better, safer place. Here are some ways to give back to your community:

  • Bake up a batch of seasonal cookies for your local firefighters, police, or EMTs
  • Bring toys to hospitals for sick kids
  • Spend time with the residents of your local hospice or nursing home
  • Donate to or volunteer at your local food bank
  • Donate pet food, toys, or blankets to your local animal shelter
  • Cook for those in need, either for shut-in neighbors or at a soup kitchen
  • Donate blood—you might just save a life this holiday season!

Christmas cookies

Creative Ways to Give Back

Some ways to give back require a greater investment in time, but make huge differences in people’s lives. Creative ways to give back include sharing your skills with other people by mentoring, teaching classes, or just offering help when it’s needed.

Some of the most creative ways to give back are the ones most likely to leave you with an attack of the warm fuzzies (anyone who gives back knows the feeling). For instance, many people can only afford to give gifts to their children during the holidays by putting items on layaway. Pay for a layaway anonymously and make someone’s holiday less financially challenging.

The world’s problems, sadly, don’t take a break over the holidays. Thousands of military personnel are deployed across the world, many in sometimes hostile conditions. Sending a seasonal care package to a member of the armed forces improves their morale and yours. Include practical items like toothbrushes and combs as well as home-baked cookies and little reminders of home. Be sure to include a letter thanking the recipient for his or her service.

Other creative ways to give back include creating a charity challenge on social media or in your neighborhood, challenging others to match your donation. Simple, but creative ways to give back include buying books for hospital patients, filling soon-to-expire parking meters, or carrying a book of bus transit passes and handing them out to people in need.

What are some of the special ways you give back during the holidays? Share with us in the comments section below or on our Facebook page!

Searching for the perfect holiday gift for a photography lover in your life? Check out our Holiday Gift Guide for our top recommendations for every photo lover on your list.