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This season is all about giving and that should not just stop with your family and friends. It is important to spread the joy of the holiday season to others. Here are some ideas for volunteering and lending a hand to those in your community who need some extra cheer this season:

  • Play Santa for a family in need. Many churches or local charity organizations will have lists of families who need some extra help getting gifts for their children.
  • Participate in a local food drive, or volunteer at a food bank. Also, many soup kitchens and homeless shelter will need help cooking and serving holiday meals for those in need.
  • Operation Christmas Child sends shoeboxes of gifts to children in third world countries.
  • Volunteer at a hospital or senior center. Many patients do not have any family or friends and would really appreciate someone to talk to on Christmas.
  • Know of a family whose Husband/Dad/Mom/Wife is deployed? Go over and help them hang up their Christmas lights and decorations.
  • Check with your local Salvation Army. They often have many volunteer opportunities; collecting warm clothes, working a donation station or sponsoring a family.
  • Support deployed Soldier organizations:
    1. Books for Soldiers: send deployed soldiers books, DVDs and magazines
    2. Operation Care Packages: send a Christmas care package
    3. Soldiers Angels

  • Don't forget about our furry friends! Start a tradition in your family of giving to a pet food bank.
  • Use a site like Volunteer Match to find local opportunities to volunteer and spread some Christmas cheer!

Please share with other readers where you volunteer during the holiday season, or spread awareness for your charitable organization!