Make A Difference This Holiday Season (or Any Time!)

It’s the holidays, and if you’re like me, you’ve spent a good chunk of your paycheck on presents for your loved ones. I am very lucky to be able to do that. Most people are not.

It’s too easy to lose of the fact that the holidays are about loving people and making the world a little more magic. I’ve provided some resources below that can help anyone give back this holiday season, even if you don’t have a penny to spare.

If you’re looking for last minute gifts:

1.) Shop with AmazonSmile

For those of you who don’t know, AmazonSmile donates a portion of each of your purchases to a charity of your choice. You don’t need to create a new account, either! Instead of going to Amazon.com, go to the link I’ve added above. The first time you visit, the website will ask what charity you’d like to choose. From there, it will let you know which of your purchases have helped donate to charity! It’s a small thing you can do from the comfort of your couch.

2.) Shop TheGreaterGood.com

Find a great gift for a loved one and do some good. You can choose your cause (literacy, hunger, breast cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, animals, veterans, Autism, diabetes, and the rainforest) and then shop for items that will give donations to non-profit organizations.

3.) Check out the organizations on this list

Looking for a trendy gift that gives back? Look no further than this list of 16 organizations that you can feel good about giving your money to.

If you’ve got some extra money: 

1.) Consider donating to someone’s GoFundMe page 

Whether you want to help a struggling family pay their bills or help pay for a child attend school, GoFundMe has it all. You can choose precisely which person, family, or organization you’d like to donate to and exactly what amount as well. You can also choose to add a personalized message or remain completely anonymous.

2.) Find your local giving tree. 

Giving trees are often located in churches, malls, and other stores. They are Christmas trees decorated with ornaments that usually say a person’s age, gender, and something that they would like for Christmas. This is my favorite form of giving because you get to pick out something for that person just like you would for a loved one.

3.) Donate money or supplies to a local food bank or homeless shelter. 

Thanks to the internet, finding these organizations in your community is quick and easy. Most of them will have some sort of website that details what kind of donations they’re looking for and where they should be dropped off.

4.) Create a blessing bag (or a few)!

If you live in an area where you frequently encounter homeless people, consider making blessing bags. These bags can be customized based on how much money you want to spend and what items you’d like to include. Many people are wary of giving homeless people money because they’re unsure how they’ll spend it, but blessing bags can provide things like snacks, socks, and hygiene products that can provide an immediate positive impact for people living on the streets.

5.) Do a random act out of kindness

It could be something as simple as paying for the person behind you at the coffee shop, or tipping your waiter or waitress a little extra. Pinterest has oodles of ideas to help you choose how you want to make someone smile.

If you’ve got time: 

1.) Warm up your brain and feed the hungry 

FreeRice.com donates rice to hungry people across the globe through the World Food Programme. All you have to do is answer easy vocabulary questions. The goal is to provide education and sustenance for all.

2.) Provide food for shelter animals with the click of a button

This is easier than FreeRice.com! All you have to do is click the button and food will be donated to feed dogs who currently reside in shelters.

3.) Download some free apps that donate to charity 

Here are three different lists of apps (for Android and iOS) that will donate to charities without you spending a cent. Check them out: 1, 2, 3!

4.) Volunteer your time 

If you’ve got spare time, volunteer at a homeless shelter, food bank, animal shelter, or other organization of your choice. You can find a list of awesome organizations near you on VolunteerMatch.org.

This is by no means a complete list of all the wonderful things you can do during the holiday season (or any time of the year). What ideas do you have for helping others? Share them below!

Happy Holidays! 🙂 

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