Around this time of year, many people start to think about giving to others. And not just to family and friends, but we start to think of ways to give to other members in the community. Many times people we don't even know, but want to help in some way. Sometimes it is just a one time gift or donation to a local business helping others, like the Salvation Army or a local food bank. Maybe you make a donation to Toys for Tots or some other group helping with giving presents or clothing to families in need. Usually we want to help people in our local community, although some of these groups obviously work nation or world-wide.
Each of these groups started with someone wanting to help others. Perhaps you have an idea that would help others in your community. Many times this is how a philanthropic organization gets started. Someone comes up with an idea, starts out on a small scale and as others gain interest the organization grows. Our family has done a lot of reading on the founders of the Salvation Army and that has certainly become a large organization.
There are many ways to help or give back to others in your community. Donate clothing or goods to local homeless shelters or women's shelters. Give canned goods, dry goods and cash to food banks. Perhaps you could sponsor a local family who has needs or who maybe is out of work. Sometimes schools need volunteer tutors to assist students. Our family goes to a local nursing home and visits the patients. As a matter of fact my daughters just did a small Christmas concert at two different healthcare facilities. This is a great place to put in some spare time, because often times the elderly are forgotten or ignored. Even going in randomly and reading to the patients would be a benefit. Some hospitals still take volunteers to do things around the hospital.
Another way to give back or help your local community is to host a fundraiser. You could sell baked goods, hold a craft fair, or have a huge yard sale with the funds raised going to one of your local organizations that help families.
Some times helping others is on a much larger scale. There are groups that train people for different occupations. Of course there are medical foundations that assist families going through a trying time with illness in the family. They often can find housing close to the hospital or assist with funds for food, gas, even medical bills. We all have heard of the foundations that fund trips for children that are terminally ill. You could donate to any one of these groups.
Some people like Julie Queler have formed organizations to assist in scholarships and helping college students. She has formed a certain niche for giving help.
No matter what choices you make this holiday season for helping others, consider doing more year round in your community to those around you. And teach your children to give back and to help others in need.