5 Ways to Give Back This Season


As we reflect on all the reasons we have to be grateful, the holiday season is also a special time to help make a difference in our communities and beyond. Whether you’re interested in making a donation to a local charity or helping build a home, there are plenty of ways to show your community some love.

Here are five ways to give back this season:

Support Local Businesses


Locally owned businesses are essential to our communities. Show your support this season by purchasing gift cards from your favorite small businesses or doing your holiday shopping at local stores. Check out this post for more ways to support locals.



Donate Unwanted Items


Donate gently used furniture or clothing to an organization like Salvation Army or Chicago Furniture Bank, a nonprofit that accepts essential furniture pieces to fill the homes of those in need. Additional organizations that accept unwanted items can be found here.

Your local animal shelter is another place you can support this season. Visit the shelter’s website or call to see if there are any items they need, such as new toys, treats, blankets, supplies, and more. If you want (and are able) to go above and beyond, adopt a new furry family member from the shelter.

Run/Walk for a Cause


Throughout the season, organizations like Susan G. KomenWounded Warrior ProjectLIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes, and Feeding America offer the opportunity for you to get active while raising funds for a great cause. Whether you’re a runner or walker, these races are a fun way to give back and can challenge you physically. To find a local race, check out the aforementioned charities, or see if your favorite charity hosts a race near you.



Give Blood


With many blood drives canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, there are now plenty of opportunities to give blood through organizations like The American Red Cross. All you have to do is visit The Red Cross’ website to find a drive near you and sign up.

Volunteer


Make an impact in your community by volunteering. Platforms like VolunteerMatch connect volunteers with nonprofit organizations all over the country and are a great starting point for finding a cause you are passionate about. VolunteerMatch even highlights virtual opportunities.

Meanwhile, organizations like Habitat for Humanity offer more opportunities to get involved. The global nonprofit invites volunteers to build or restore homes for those in need around the United States or globally. Find a local builder near you, or participate in group builds.

 

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