One of the most magical times of the year is drawing near, as we are approaching the final twelve days until Christmas. While the holidays provide us with delicious treats, cozy decorations and plenty of family fun, it’s important to take the time to reflect on the year and do our part in making the world a better place.
This year especially, will be different for many families—but that doesn’t mean we can’t all contribute in some way, to make the season a little brighter for everyone. Keep reading for some of our ideas, and join us in our twelve day Christmas countdown of giving back this holiday season. Let’s all commit to spreading joy this holiday season!
12. Write Letters
Not all of us are able to spend the holidays with our family this year; sadly, for some, this is not exclusive to 2020. There are several organizations that allow you to write letters to those spending the holidays alone this year. Not only is this a great way to spread some holiday cheer, it’s also a great opportunity to build your children’s letter writing skills! Organizations located in the US include Love for Our Elders, which is dedicated to seniors, Sunshine Snail Mail, an organization connecting people in need of some joy, and Support Our Troops, for those in military service. Get writing and spread some joy!
11. Volunteer at a Local Charity
Charities are really busy during this time of year and can definitely use an extra set of hands to help out! Volunteering with your family is also a great way to demonstrate the value of giving back to your kids. Right now, Spread the Joy is looking for Joy Packers to help us reach our goal to send 2,000 Joy Boxes as part of our #BoxesOverBaskets initiative this holiday season. If you’re in the New Jersey area and looking to help out, complete the volunteer application to get started!
10. Donate Your Extra Items
We all know that overwhelming feeling in January when our closets and drawers are bursting at the seams after being spoiled by Santa. Prevent this from happening and do some good by sorting through your stuff and donating what you don’t need before the holidays! Involve your children by asking them what toys they no longer need and donate them to a toy drive. Considering how quickly children grow, oftentimes their items remain in good condition and will be gladly accepted as a donation. Be sure to check the guidelines of your local goodwill before donating as there can be restrictions. Happy cleaning!
9. Purchase a Gift that Gives Back
What greater way to give back than purchasing an awesome gift that does just that? We’ve compiled a list of companies that are committed to giving back through the sale of their products. The holidays can be expensive, so it’s great to know that you can both give back and give amazing gifts with one purchase. Check out our holiday gift guide to learn more!
8. Donate to Your Local Food Bank
Food banks have been extremely busy this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the holidays will be no exception. Next time you go grocery shopping add a few non-perishable items that you can donate to your local food bank. Some food banks will also be looking for volunteers to help sort donations and stock the shelves. Check your local food bank’s listings to get more information on ways you can help and get involved.
7. Perform an Act of Kindness
Sometimes, giving back can be as simple as performing an act of kindness. Live somewhere snowy? Shovel your neighbour’s driveway! Just baked a fresh batch of cookies? Wrap some up and give them to a friend! By committing to spreading small acts of kindness every day, we can be a positive force of change in the world.
6. Donate Your Flight Miles
Most airlines will allow you to donate your flight miles to a non-profit organization. Examples of organizations that participate include Make a Wish and the American Red Cross. In donating your air miles you support bringing families together in times of need. Check out your giving options with your flight miles rewards program to learn more!
5. Educate Yourselves on an Issue
Knowledge is power and this is especially important when it comes to social issues. Get your kids involved young by exploring an issue you feel you could all learn more about as a family. A great way to do this is to start local and see what charities in your area are doing. The more we build awareness on issues, the more change we can affect!
4. Take Part in a Run for Charity
Several organizations are hosting virtual runs this year, with proceeds going to charity. Achieving your fitness goals and giving back? That sounds like a win-win. One of our Holiday Gift Guide recommendations, Athletafreak, is hosting a virtual 5K on January 1st with donations going to Spread the Joy. Let’s get running!
3. Donate Blood
The need for blood doesn’t stop during the holiday season. If you’re able to do so, consider donating this year. Donating blood is a no-cost way of making a huge difference in the lives of those that need it. Visit the American Red Cross to learn more about how you can participate in your area!
2. Take Part in a Community Clean Up
Our environment needs us too! Take part in a community clean up to pick up waste and leave our spaces cleaner. The great part about this is that you don’t need to join an existing event to take part! Simply gather some garbage bags, a garbage grabber and gloves to start making a difference in your community’s environment! This is also a great opportunity to educate your kids on proper recycling and waste disposal.
1. Let Your Loved Ones Know You Care
Without the holiday parties and get-togethers we’re used to having, it can be easy to lose touch with those you care about around the holiday season, but don’t let this stop you! Call your friends and family to see how they’re doing and let them know you care. You can even play some fun holiday games over Zoom! Some of our favorites are online holiday bingo and virtual holiday scavenger hunts.
We hope you enjoyed our 12 days of giving back! Spread the Joy is so appreciative of our donors and volunteers and their commitment to helping us make a difference. We hope you have a safe and restful holiday season and look forward to starting a new year with you all.