Autumn is in the air, and soon enough, the air will get colder and the holidays will begin. Because of this, we have chosen to collect a list of ideas for you to make someone’s Christmas a very merry one! We think you might find a good idea or two to get your holiday mood started.
Give a toy to a child in need
That’s how Caritas Smile itself got started! However, there are many different ways for you to donate a toy to a child. You can visit your local hospital or residential group home for children (a residential treatment center, residential child care community, or a foster family) and ask how you can donate a toy or a few toys to the children they help. However, there are also several toy charities such as Toys for Tots, Ronald McDonald House, and Stuffed Animals for Emergencies. You can even donate used toys as long as you make sure that they:
- Are not broken or dirty.
- Don’t have pieces missing.
- Haven’t been recalled.
- Aren’t meant for hospitals as they need to adhere to strict hygiene guidelines.
Visit your local humane society or pet shelter
Pet shelters are usually one of the places that needs the most help but rarely have enough. However, first and foremost, do your homework to ensure that you’re going to help a pet shelter with practices that you support. Also keep in mind that although pet shelters need money, they are also in great need of other things such as pet food, blankets, food bowls, toys, and collars. You can also choose to donate your time and share, or expand, your abilities. You don’t need to focus on one way of helping the shelter when there are many which can suit you and bring joy to some animals in need.
Visit the Department of Social Services
This is a common practice in a lot of DSS offices, so definitely check out if your nearest one has this tradition. They set up a Christmas tree in the lobby and decorate it with different cards. In each card, you’ll find the gender and age of a foster child in need of a present. However, this isn’t the only thing you can do, as you can usually donate a Christmas dinner to a family in need. Be sure to ask your local DSS office on the different ways in which you can help improve someone’s Christmas!
Visit a Nursing Home
Many elderly people don’t have anyone to visit them during Christmastime, or at all. Sometimes they don’t have families, or their families have moved away, but that doesn’t mean that they should stop mattering to us – especially when all they want is a little company and someone to share their stories with. As such, one small visit, or a weekly visit if you have the time, will make a world of difference in their lives. In fact, if you have children, you can bring them with you and they’ll instantly gain a whole new family while learning important lessons from you and the people who you visit.
We know that it’s not always possible to donate items, money, or even time, but donating blood takes only a little time and will save a life. By spending only half an hour of your life doing this, you can potentially give someone years that they would’ve otherwise not have had. Moreover, this is a gift that will not only impact the person who receives the blood, but it’ll also impact their family and loved ones.
Pass it on
Has someone ever done something good for you? Well, Christmas is the perfect time to pass it on! Keep your ears open, and you’ll find someone who needs some help. Whether it’s paying for the groceries of someone who doesn’t have a lot of money or volunteering some time to take care of your favourite niece or nephew so that their parents can have some downtime – you’ll find exactly what works best for you. Just remember to ask the receiver of your good deed to pass it on when the time comes.
Donate to an NGO you trust.
You can donate time, or money. You can choose to do a bake sale or food drive. It all depends on the organization you want to be involved with! Simply remember that you have to make sure that you’re donating to an organization you can trust, and feel free to contact them in order to ask as many questions as needed. Caritas Smile is one of the organizations you can donate to! If you don’t want to join our Take A Trip Change A Life program, you can donate some money or even time by helping us with other tasks. Whatever you choose, feel free to contact us with any ideas or doubts you might have!
Talia Velez is a Growth Impact Officer at Caritas Smile, a non-profit service travel program dedicated to making positive impacts and sustainable changes for women and children in developing countries. Having grown up in Mexico, Talia is keenly aware of the day-to-day issues faced by women and children in countries with more economic vulnerability. Visit our site to learn more about Caritas Smile and join us in our mission to help those in need.