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How to Give Back During the Holidays

December 11, 2015

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The holiday season is a time for celebration with your family and friends; it's a time to give and receive gifts, food, and loads of love. Many of us are lucky enough to have our loved ones around us to celebrate with, but many people also find themselves alone and without any resources during the holidays. What can you do to give back to those who really need it? 

Volunteering brings people together. Volunteering brings people together. Courtesy of blogs.ubc.ca

Celebrate with Seniors

  • Seniors are an important part of any community, but at the same time seniors are often the among the most disadvantaged. Seniors are unable to work, and if families don't have the resources to support them, they could really be at risk. 
  • A lot of seniors live in seniors' homes, which is a wonderful environment in which you can volunteer. Many seniors do not have family who are able to visit and spend time with them; visiting a seniors' home could really help cheer up those who are lonely. 
  • You might find that, by forming a relationship with a senior, you'll learn a lot about life and about yourself. 

Visiting with a senior can really make a difference. Visiting with a senior can really make a difference. Courtesy of vch.ca

Visit a Homeless Shelter

  • Most cities and towns have a homeless population. Homeless people are especially at risk during the winter when it's cold enough to be especially dangerous to be outside all the time. 
  • Homeless shelters are often run almost entirely by volunteers, so there is always an opportunity for you to help out with something.
  • You might be able to help with serving food, collecting and distributing donations, or just doing odd jobs.
  • Many homeless people are estranged from their families or have no families, so volunteering at a shelter during the holidays could really make a special difference. 

Homeless shelters always need volunteers!Homeless shelters always need volunteers!Courtesy of Getty Images

Help Out at the Children's Hospital

  • Illness doesn't take a day off for the holidays; many adults and children are stuck in the hospital during the holidays. 
  • There are lots of ways you can make a child's hospital stay easier just by volunteering to spend some time with them. You could read to children, play with them, grab coffee for their parents, or just spend a little time having a chat. You might be surprised at what a big difference your visit could make in a sick child's life! 
  • Hospitals are always looking for volunteers to come in and lend a hand. Give your local hospital a call for more information. 

Volunteering at a children's hospital can be incredibly rewarding!Volunteering at a children's hospital can be incredibly rewarding!Courtesy of Oregon Live

If you're interested in volunteering, we recommend that you do a little research to find out where you think you'd fit best. If you love spending time with children, perhaps a hospital is the best choice for you, whereas if you think you'd find working with seniors more rewarding, then a retirement home might fit you better. If you are passionate about the cause you are serving, you will have a more fulfilling experience. 

Have Your Say!

Have you ever done a volunteer job? Tell us about it in the comments section!