How to give back locally this holiday season

 

‘Tis the season of giving back—but with many traditional forms of volunteering off the table this year due to the pandemic, it may be tough to figure out how you can help others in your community.

Still, there are plenty of ways you can make a difference locally this season if you know where to look. Here are a few of our best ideas for giving back over the holidays.

Organize a contactless food drive

To arrange a local food drive, there is no need for a crowded event. All that’s required is a vehicle and a community that cares. Start by distributing flyers in your area, asking neighbours to leave non-perishable food items on their front step at a specific date and time. Then, simply drive around, collect the items, and deliver the haul to your local food bank. The generosity of your neighbours might surprise you!

Volunteer virtually

With the pandemic ruling out in-person volunteering, plenty of charities are offering virtual opportunities for folks to volunteer. Research possible organization and offer to give your time and skills to help. Possible opportunities could include manning a crisis phone line, giving translation services, or providing professional expertise.

Spread the word

Use your voice for good! Leverage your social media accounts to share information about local causes and small businesses that people can support over the holiday season. 

Help a neighbour

As the holidays approach, check in with neighbours, friends, and family members who are elderly or have pre-existing conditions. You may be able to provide much needed help delivering groceries and supplies or running errands. 

Give blood

Blood donations are always important, but hospitals need them now more than ever. If you’ve never given blood before, there is no better time to give it a try. It’s easier than you might think, and your gift could save lives.

Shovel a walk

Shoveling snow is a small task that can make a significant difference for you neighbours. When you’re clearing your own walk this winter, take a little extra time to shovel someone else’s—maybe even two or three others. The extra ten minutes you spend could mean the world to an elderly neighbour, someone with a disability, or a family that could use an extra hand.

Shop locally

With so many small businesses struggling right now, you can help by spending your money thoughtfully this season. When possible, take the opportunity to buy holiday gifts from local businesses in your community. With many offering curbside pickup and even free delivery, this is a safe and effective way to support business owners, their families, and their staff.

Donate

Local charities need your help right now, too. If it’s possible within your budget, consider making a donation or two to frontline organizations such as shelters, food banks, and community support programs. With the pandemic stretching resources thinner than ever for non-profits, your donation can make a tremendous impact on the lives of others this holiday season.

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