- Make Cards for Hospitalized Kids. This is one of my favorites, this act of kindness takes almost no time at all, and it will instantly brighten a child’s day. Get a group of your friends together and personalize greeting cards with watercolors, glitter, stickers, and stamps. Make sure to write a sweet message inside too. I have no doubt that any local hospital (and their patients!) will be over-the-moon with excitement when you show up to with your cheerful letters. One of my favorite organizations that facilitates this is Cards for Hospitalized Kids.
- Serve at a Soup Kitchen. In my opinion, the most valuable ways to give back involve interacting with the people you’re helping. Volunteering at a local soup kitchen during the holidays is a great way to have a hands-on experience with your community. I guarantee after experiencing this, you will have a newfound appreciation for the food on your own table. To volunteer at a soup kitchen near you, check out DoSomething.org.
- Keep Someone Company. Many communities have senior centers with programs linking seniors and younger people, offering companionship and company for an hour here and there. Do a search for your local senior center and inquire how you might help.
- Donate your Closet Clutter. This is something I think everyone could do, and benefit from. Go through your closet and get rid of the stuff you just don’t need anymore, and donate it to someone who really does. Separate the things that are still gently used and in good condition—this will be your donate pile. Then, just place the things you’re going to donate in a box or a bag and contact Goodwill—they will even come pick it up for you! Chances are you have nicer things than someone who is less fortunate could ever dream of owning. Your closet clutter will make their holiday season truly special. To learn more check out Goodwill.org.
- Adopt a family. The Salvation Army came up with the idea to Adopt-A-Family. They match an impoverished family with a group of people who plan to provide an entire Christmas for their “adopted family.” It’s a great way to help others, who simply can’t afford to give their family a Christmas. You can sign up with a group of friends, or your family to shop for your adopted family’s presents on their Christmas list and deliver them Christmas morning. Go to Salvation Army to learn more.
- Donate a Christmas tree to our troops. With a brother in the Army, who hasn’t been home for six Christmases. This one is close to my heart. Being a soldier is hard enough, so I can’t even imagine being away from home and your family during the holidays. So I when I stumbled upon Christmas Spirit Foundation and read about their program called Trees for Troops, I was very moved. It allows Americans to donate Christmas trees to a group of U.S. troops who are overseas during the holidays. The process is pretty simple: Just go to one of the tree lots that are participating all over the country to purchase a tree. They will place it in a FedEx truck that’s already on the lot, so you will literally be able to see your tree waiting to get shipped off to American soldiers. To make donating even easier, just plan on buying your own Christmas tree at one of the lots that participates in this program so you can buy another one for our troops while you’re there. Head on over to Trees for Troops to learn more.
With Love From LA,
Lauren, The Blondette and The Entire B & B Team