We would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Many of us have family gatherings, plenty of food, gifts to give, gifts to receive and most importantly a cozy warm home this winter. However it isn’t always the most wonderful time of the year for some families. Due to poverty, addictions, mental illness or loss of a job… many folks are homeless or just getting by with no extra money to spend on Christmas celebrations. We wanted to remember and acknowledge these families who do not have a wonderful Christmas to look forward to.
Here are 5 ways to give back and spread some holiday cheer this Christmas season.
1. Donate to your local Food Bank
Most wanted holiday items: Turkeys or hams (where perishable items accepted), cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, stuffing mix, olive oil, spices, low sodium canned goods, dried fruit, nuts, pasta, rice, peanut butter, nutritious cereals, canned soups, tuna, snacks for kids and personal hygiene items. (Find your local Food Bank)
2. Helping Handbags
This European charity started a movement to help homeless women in the winter: You can do what they do in your community by using a bag that you don’t need (promo backpack or unused handbag) fill it up with personal women hygiene items, granola bars, jerky, water bottles, first aid items, warm hat, gloves, wool socks, kleenex, lip balm, hand lotion and a travel toothbrush kit. Hand out this bag to the next homeless women you pass on your way to work this winter or you can drop off at a local charity that reaches out to the homeless.
Find out more at: Helping Handbags Worldwide
3. Operation Christmas Child
The kids love this gift idea! Pack a shoe box of gifts for a child halfway around the world who will never receive a gift this Christmas. You can stuff the box with stuffed animals, toys, personal items, crayons and much more. You can also track your box if you register online! To pack your shoebox visit : Samaritans Purse
4. End of Year Giving
Giving financially to a charity is harder at the end of the year due to higher spending habits for most families. However remember your end-of-year financial gift to a non-profit charitable organization may entitle you to a charitable contribution deduction against your income tax. Consider giving this year to one of these charities:
Tax exempt educational organizations, tax exempt hospitals and certain medical research organizations, government unit (state or political subdivision of a state), qualifying private foundations, churches and other religious organizations.
Please consult your tax advisor for more information and read this useful article on: CharityNavigator.org.
5. Giving your time
Donate your time this year by helping out in your local community soup kitchen, food bank, local church or charity fundraisers at local schools. Giving of your time is just as valuable as financially giving. Find a way to spread the Christmas cheer without expecting anything in return.
Help make this Christmas the most wonderful time of the year for someone else!
Merry Christmas from our home to yours,