Giving is one of the first lessons learned as a child. The idea to let go of a possession to help someone else feel better is not always easy. In a society of materialism and the desire to want, even more, it is hard, at times, to let go or remember to give. The knowledge in helping others can boost a feeling of fulfillment. Even the brain registers the act of giving through the release of neurotransmitters, which elevate the feeling of pleasure. In the season of creative gift-giving, allow the season to consider a variety of charitable donations.
Beyond the gift of a monetary object or funds, the gift of self and time is a beautiful contribution. In considering your unique talents, playing holiday music at a local retirement home, nursing home or hospital might boost the spirits of everyone in the room. Even if your vocal cords hit a note off-key occasionally, grab a group of friends, and enjoy an evening in festivity. Patients may not always receive visitors around the holidays; therefore, you can help ease a feeling of loneliness.
- A local animal shelter or rescue may welcome a new volunteer.
- Reach out to non-profit organizations such as food pantries or arts councils to see how you can assist!
- Check the “want” ads in search of seasonal volunteers. Sorting and wrapping are well-needed tasks.
- Assist the community by participating in construction projects or future planting efforts.
- Homeless shelters and churches appreciate volunteers to aid guests during check-in and provide a presence during the night.
- Go to triadmomsonmain.com in search of a specific listing of organizations in the Piedmont Triad.
Easy Sewing Gifts\
Holding tight onto an object such as a small doll or blanket can soothe feelings of stress and loneliness; not just for a child, but for an adult, too. Through a four-step process of sewing two pieces of fabric together and adding stuffing, the simple design will bring peace to a somber heart. Families can bond together one Saturday or Sunday afternoon and make a few dozen, and then attach a card of seasonal goodwill and love!
Aiding a Special Cause
We all have a soft spot for a specific cause. If you are wondering what to give, here is a shortlist of ideas.
- All children love the idea of unwrapping a gift. Consider crafts, toys and electronics.
- Consider providing gift cards to help parents who remain at the hospital.
- Homeless and women’s shelters appreciate donations of basic toiletries, socks, hand warmers, clothing, bottled water, washcloths and ready-to-eat meals.
- Send care packages containing instant coffee, personal hygiene items, jerky and stationery to military spending Christmas oversees.
Family Giving Opportunities
Sharing the experience of charity is a bonding experience to give without the need to receive. Families can nominate a preferred charity each year and delve into a giving plan.
- Children can elicit the help of extended family members to support a worthy cause, such as granting a child’s wish or helping families in need.
- Local bookstores may offer a holiday book drive to foster an opportunity for children to pass a book forward. Call ahead to find out whether stores accept pre-wrapped books with a tag marking the appropriate age level.
- Charitable projects can occur within the neighborhood. They include raking leaves for an elderly couple or inviting a grieving neighbor to Christmas dinner.
It’s important to give back in ways that work for everyone in the family. And, not just in the season of giving but throughout the year!
While time is a gift to beloved neighbors, coaches and teachers, it is essential to reach out to relatives living at a great distance; perhaps, states away. The gifts of packages and cards often encourage the sound of a pleased great aunt or cousin baring appreciation. There is, with hope, individuals and families who will take your place to provide exceptional care; perhaps, in the form of home-baked cookies, a homemade card, or a festive performance of carols.
The heart feels the challenge when you cannot help everyone. Remember, miracles also come in the form of silent prayers!