Spread holiday cheer with these thoughtful ways to give back.

Get your family involved with these ways to give back over the holidays.The holidays are a time to spread joy to others and celebrate generosity. Whether you want to focus on your family, community, or larger worldwide causes, there are plenty of ways to give back this season.

To spark each of our spirits of generosity, here are some favorite ways to give back—whether with time, financial means, or even just goodwill:

  1. “Adopt” a family for the holidays
  2. Donate to a food bank
  3. Practice random acts of kindness
  4. Put together a gift box
  5. Give to a cause you care about
  6. Find a way to volunteer locally
  7. Show gratitude to the people in your life

Learn more about how to get involved with these ways to give back below!

“Adopt” a family for the holidays
The holidays can be challenging for families who are struggling financially. By sponsoring or “adopting,” a family, you can help make their holidays memorable. You’ll typically buy gifts for the children and a grocery gift card for their holiday meal. To get matched with a family, try contacting your local Salvation Army or other charity, or visit volunteermatch.org to see what’s available in your area. You can also donate to a food bank directly to benefit multiple families this season!

Practice random acts of kindness
We love random acts of kindness—they make life fun both for you and the recipients. Challenge yourself to do a couple of new ones every week over the holiday season. We have 36 random acts of kindness ideas here to get you started!

Put together a gift box 
Either through a program or on your own, put together a box of cheer for someone who needs it. Check out these care package programs for our troops. If you live in an area with a large homeless population, find a local organization that coordinates the distribution of useful items like dental care materials, non-perishable foods, hygiene supplies, and warm socks. You can get involved by helping assemble and distribute these care packages or donating the money and supplies used to put them together.

Give to a cause you care about
Some of the most effective ways to give back are also the easiest: just clicking a donation button to support an important cause. Before choosing a charity, do your research to ensure it’s a worthy cause with financially responsible practices and good leadership. If you want to give to someone directly, look on GoFundMe to see if there are stories that resonate with you.

Find a way to volunteer locally
During COVID-19, you’re likely to find more restrictions on in-person volunteer opportunities like soup kitchens, hospitals, and food banks. There are plenty of safe, socially-distanced opportunities to explore! See if you have a local mutual aid network where you can offer help to your community. Become a phone volunteer with a program to chat with lonely older adults. Ask if nearby hospitals are accepting knitted blankets or baby clothes. See if there are local programs that enable social-distance-friendly volunteering. Just make sure you’re keeping yourself safe, whichever opportunity you choose!

Show gratitude to the people in your life
The phrase “charity begins at home” means that you can do a lot of good just by supporting and loving the people in your life. Ways to give back don’t have to be grand gestures—you could surprise your spouse with their favorite dessert, call a relative to tell them you love them, send a heartfelt card or letter to an old friend, etc. It can be fun to brainstorm ways to surprise and show gratitude to the people you know and strengthens your relationships in the process.

Continue reading the CapTel blog for more seasonal activity ideas, information about living with hearing loss, and more.

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