Since my husband and I have been married, we have always made it a priority to help others that we see who are in trouble, having a difficult time financially or just need a listening ear. We try do this throughout the year, but during the holiday season, it is an especially nice time for helping others. As our children have gotten older, we have tried to instill the qualities of compassion and service in them. During the holidays, there are so many ways to give of your time, money or food to those in need. From the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle program to donating warm coats, there are numerous ways to help others. For a couple of years, we located food banks nearby wherever we were living at the time and had the kids purchase food items within a certain budget, then went as a family and donated the items. We have also had them shop for toys, wrap them and take them to ‘secret Santa’ type programs. ToysForTots is also a great way to help with gifts for children.
You don’t need to be a parent to participate in any of these programs though. In fact, there are even more opportunities for those who are over 16, like working in soup kitchens, distributing food to the poor and homeless and even assisting in overnight shelters. If you haven’t yet found the time to give in person this season, take a moment and consider donating online to one of the programs below and make the season a little brighter for someone else.