The other night I was researching different ways I could give back to my community during the holidays. I posted in a local Facebook group looking for some ideas. I was shocked by all the responses I received.
In one of the responses, I was pointed to a program that allows people to sponsor families in need. In the group, people post how many children they have, their ages and their needs/wants.
Tears poured out of my eyes when I read some of the lists. The most simple things these families needed like clothes, socks or diapers. I even had moms reach out to me personally, asking for help getting Christmas gifts for their children. I was completely overwhelmed.
I prayed for a day and finally decided on a family to sponsor. We also decided to sponsor a child in foster care. It’s so hard to choose when you wish you could help all of them.
I am not telling you this to brag or to guilt you into sponsoring a family this holiday. I am telling you this so that you can hopefully be inspired to give back in some way. It doesn’t have to be money or things. Most of the programs I list here have opportunities to donate OR volunteer.
I don’t have a good history of donating or giving back, but I am looking to make a change. If you are wishing to make that change too, I hope this list gives you some good ideas or inspiration.
(A few of these listed are local to the Triad area of NC, but most are nationwide)
Sponsor a family
I don’t think there is a better feeling than being a family’s Santa Claus. I was pointed to this Facebook group called, Christmas Gifts for Kids, and I am so glad I was.
Parent’s who are unable to provide gifts for their children during Christmas post in the group how many children they have, ages, location and certain items they are in need of. The group originated here in western North Carolina, but now there are posts from families all over the country.
If there aren’t any families in your location in the group, I am sure if you do a google search there will be an opportunity local to you.
The Salvation Army also has an Angel Tree Program where anonymous donors give gifts to those in need.
Sponsor a child in foster care
A woman also reached out to me asking to sponsor a foster child and get them gifts on their wish list.
I had a guest poster on the blog a few months back who told her story of being in foster care as a child. So, this felt like a perfect way for me to give back to the foster community.
If you live in North Carolina, you can visit the Children’s Home Society website, where they have opportunities to sponsor a foster child throughout the state.
Sponsor a senior
If you have a soft spot for the elderly, then this is another great opportunity to give back. My grandparents raised me, so I think it is so important not to forget about this community, especially during the holidays.
Guilford County in NC has a Santa for Seniors program where you can donate gifts or you can deliver holiday meals on Christmas morning.
This time of year there are so many places to donate toys. I know my local grocers always have bins to put toys in for donation.
You can visit Toys for Tots and find out where they have donation bins near you. There are also several different donation options on their website such as online donations, mail, crowd funding and even car donations.
The Salvation Army has several different ways you can donate during the holiday season. You can make a simple online donation, sponsor children, delivering meals, hosting dinners for families, bill pay assistance and more.
The Parenting PATH
The Parenting PATH (Positive Actions, Thriving Homes) is a Northwest NC program specifically created to help strengthen parent-child relationships and prevent child abuse.
You can make a monetary donation online that contributes anywhere from providing diapers to paying or therapy for sexual abuse victims. They also have volunteer opportunities such as cooking, working in the nursery or helping new moms at home.
Your local church
If you are part of a church, then there are probably several opportunities to volunteer and donate. Even if you don’t belong to a church, you could visit a local church’s website and see if there are any ways you can help out.
The options really are endless when it comes to giving back during the holidays. Whether that’s with your time, money or skills.
Having my daughter has really opened my eyes to what’s important during the holidays. We are so blessed to be in a position where we can give back in some way to our community. I hope to teach her the value of helping others in need and to encourage her to become a more selfless and loving human being.
I’d love to hear other donation/volunteer ideas in the comments if you have any! Hope everyone has a blessed and safe holiday season ❤