If you're like me and love to volunteer, the Christmas holiday can provide a great opportunity to give back to the people in your community in multiple ways. To get the wheels turning, here are a few service ideas, as well as some organizations you may not have heard about to get involved with this December.
1. Prison Angel Trees
Angel Tree provides gifts to the children of people who are currently serving time in prison. The website claims that there are 2.7 million children who have a parent who is in custody. The gift wish lists are often to simple to fulfill, and the cards can be found in many malls, shops and restaurants.
2. Alternative Gifts International (AGI)
AGI is an organization based out of Wichita, KS that provides sustainable gifts to people across the globe. You can give a variety of gifts ranging from a week of groceries for a family of five to supplies for an eco-home in villages abroad. You can view the giving catalog here.
3. Child's Play
This organization was formed in order to improve the overall quality of life for patients in pediatric hospitals, as well as children who are victims of domestic violence. The donations they receive are used to purchase video games, toys and books for these kids. If you have a specific facility that you want to donate to, they allow you to search for a specific list and purchase items to send there. You can find their website here.
4. Make-A-Wish Foundation
The Make-A-Wish foundation works to fulfill the dreams of young children with terminal illnesses. By visiting their website, you can donate to the general fund, find a local chapter near you or view a list of wishes that have been posted.
5. National Coalition for the Homeless
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, 564,708 people reported that they were homeless on a single given night in January 2015. One of the many ways to lend a helping hand to this population is through The National Coalition for the Homeless. The charity's website offers many opportunities to help those who are homeless, including volunteer opportunities, fundraising resources and links to donate to the general product fund.
6. Visit Nursing Homes
Many residents of nursing homes often go without having visitors for extended periods of time. Make someone's day brighter by going to sing carols, playing games with them or just giving them a person to talk to. Just be sure to call your local home first to plan a visit!
These were only a few ideas for helping others in your community, but I encourage you to get involved with a group that you are passionate about and have some fun. I hope you have a fantastic holiday season!
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