The Students' Voice

Giving Back This Christmas

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Christmas is an exciting time of the year, full of gifts and decorations and holiday movies. We all love getting in the holiday spirit, but we often lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas. This year I invite you to reach out and practice generosity, showing that sharing is what it is truly about. A simple act of kindness can mean a lot more to someone than you will ever know, and the feeling you get knowing you made a difference for others is unmatchable. There are endless ways to give a little extra to those in need, but here are just ten ideas to get you started. There is no better way to celebrate the season than to spread the joy and holiday spirit, and give back this Christmas.

  1. Buy Presents to Donate to Toys For Tots

Not every child is fortunate enough to receive a present this Christmas, so every year the Marine Corps Reserve holds a toy drive for those in need. Just pick out a gift to donate and they will do the rest.

  1. Leave a Christmas Card or Homemade Treat in the Mailbox

Show the mail carriers some appreciation for what they do for us every day, regardless of the cold weather this season.

  1. Make Small Gift Baskets for Children in the Hospital/Hospice Care

To a child who is unable to be home for the holidays, some simple balloons or a small gift basket could mean so much more to them than you would imagine.

  1. Donate to the Salvation Army

We all have spare change laying around somewhere, and donating it to the Salvation Army puts it toward a good cause. You could also take the time to volunteer to ring the bell and collect donations this season.

  1. Donate a Coat to a Local Coat Drive

Whether you clean out your closet or go and buy a new coat to donate, there is always someone out there trying to stay warm. One Warm Coat is a national organization dedicated to this cause and if you do not know of any local coat drives, you can check out their website to find one held near you.

  1. Pack a Shoebox for Operation Christmas Child

Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child is an organization that sends a shoebox to children in third world countries for Christmas. These boxes are filled with basic personal items, as well as some small gifts, which could be the only gifts these children receive for the holidays. You can get all of the information to pack your own boxes on their website.

  1. Fill a Stocking for Our Soldiers

Operation Give is a project that sends more than 10,000 stockings to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. You can donate items for stocking stuffers or go online and donate money for shipping charges. Another way to spread joy this holiday is to just simply send a Christmas card to military personnel overseas.

  1. Donate Food or Toys to Your Local Pet Shelter

If you are a pet lover, this is the time the shelters are in the most need. When the weather turns cold, these shelters see an influx of new animals being dropped off. They rely mostly on the donations received around Christmas time to care for the animals until New Years. They often hold food or toy drives for the animals being housed there over the holidays.

  1. Bake Some Homemade Goods for Your Local Firemen, Police Officers or EMT Service Providers

Drop by on Christmas Day with some homemade cookies to show these men and women that the tireless, hard work they put into our community is greatly appreciated.

  1. Random Acts of Kindness

Simply paying for the next customer in line at a fast food restaurant, dropping off some donations at a local food pantry or going through your old books for the local library, can make a big difference in someone else’s life. All of these can be done year-round, but around the holidays is when it could mean the most to someone in need.

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Giving Back This Christmas