6 Ways to Give Back to Your Community During the Holidays
With December right around the corner and holiday festivities quickly approaching, it’s also the time of year when the needs of your community are the most apparent. Though food, clothes, and essential goods are needed all year round, the winter season brings the greatest needs for these items. Whether you want to make a donation, take action, or find new organizations to help into the new year, there are many opportunities to spread joy within your own community.
Many organizations, especially in the Philadelphia region, offer volunteer opportunities. You can serve meals to those experiencing homelessness, help sort donations at a food bank or pantry, visit a local nursing home, or spend time at an animal shelter. Volunteering as a family is also a great way to show that donating your time is just as valuable as making a donation.
When making your holiday food shopping orders, add a few extra items to the cart to donate. Some grocery stores host their own food drives, where you can purchase premade food packages at checkout, or have donation bins within the store for you to leave your donation items. You can also find local food banks and charities that accept a variety of canned and nonperishable goods all year long.
Sponsor a “Wish List”
Many churches, children’s centers, and organizations encourage “adopting” a family or child in your community during the month of December. These programs will ask you to purchase one or more items on a “wish list” for a child or family in need. Items can include winter clothing essentials, blankets, toiletries, and children’s toys.
Local and family-owned small businesses are operated by your fellow community members. When shopping this season, seek out local or online small businesses to support people’s talents and the local economy.
Make a Monetary Donation
There’s an organization in need of support for any cause. Decide what mission you and your family want to support and search for an organization that takes action! You can support military families, pediatric health, those experiencing homelessness, natural disaster support funds, and many more.
Simple Acts of Kindness
Giving to those around you doesn’t have to be expensive to be impactful. Simple acts of kindness can include shoveling your neighbor’s driveway, making cards for military members, buying someone’s coffee, or making baked goods for your children’s teachers.
Charitable acts are always appreciated during the holiday season, but your support doesn’t have to stop there. Carrying on your holiday tradition each year or making a commitment to plan charitable acts more often in the upcoming year can bring long-lasting change to the organizations and communities you serve and support!
American Heritage hosts a variety of member and employee holiday giving initiatives that impact the Greater Philadelphia Region each year. Employees of the credit union take part in an annual coat drive for local veterans and their families, donate hundreds of meals to partnered organizations, and raise thousands of dollars for our adopt-a-family program. Additionally, our members donate thousands of pounds of nonperishable food items during our Spirit of Giving Food Drive and help us raise funds all year long for our Kids-N-Hope Foundation to support pediatric Music Therapy Programs.