It’s the season of giving! Whether it’s your time, assistance, or money, donating to charitable causes is great for your soul and your community. Through our Northwest Self Storage Foundation, we’re always looking for ways to make a difference. If you’re on the hunt for a new way to help your community, we happen to have a few ideas …
1. Volunteer at a food bank
This is a wonderful idea any time of the year, but around the holidays, your help is especially needed. While food banks and pantries always need nonperishable food, they also need help sorting, preparing, and delivering it to families in need. Everyone deserves to be well fed, so take some time to help out at the Oregon Food Bank or Washington Food Pantries.
2. Help prepare a meal at a soup kitchen
Soup kitchens and warming shelters are very important during the colder months, and they can always use some extra help. Preparing and serving meals is also a great activity for larger groups. If you’re looking for a way to volunteer with your family, friends, or co-workers, this is a wonderful place to start.
3. Spend time with the elderly
No one should be alone during the holiday season. Take some of your free time and visit a senior center in your community. Whether you help the staff or just chat with some of the residents, your time spent with the elderly is valued and appreciated by all.
4. Hold a clothing drive
A winter clothing drive is another way to provide for people in need during the colder months, whether that means donating new coats or items you already own. This is also an opportunity to donate the clothes you don’t need or use anymore. Help the less fortunate while clearing out your closets (or self-storage unit)!
5. Sponsor a family in need
Churches, schools, and community centers often have programs that can pair you up with a family that needs some help during the holidays. You’ll be able to provide food, presents, and cheer for their holiday season. This is another volunteering idea that’s great for larger groups, as it can take some time to organize and prepare your gifts for the family.
6. Take care of pets in need
People aren’t the only ones in need. Try fostering a pet or volunteering at an animal shelter this winter. Some animals need a little extra care before they’re ready to be adopted by their forever family. Fostering pets in your home allows you to give them the help and attention they need to live full, happy lives.
7. Organize a blood drive
Organizing a community blood drive is actually easier than it sounds. The Red Cross provides planning assistance, equipment, trained staff, and so much more. If organizing an event is too much of a time commitment, consider simply donating blood. Hospitals always need more blood, no matter the season, which means it’s always a great way to give back.
8. Support our troops overseas
Send cards or gifts to soldiers overseas. Not everyone gets to be home for the holidays, so sending some extra love to our troops is a thoughtful way to spread cheer and volunteer your time. Also, many organizations like Operation Gratitude can link you up with a soldier or veteran.
Giving back to your community can make the cold winter months just a little warmer. Whatever you can give—whether it’s a few hours of your time or some financial assistance—your help is always appreciated.