The holidays are a time for tradition. Maybe it’s opening a gift the night before Christmas, decorating the tree to the tune of a favorite album, or an annual all-day cookie-baking extravaganza. As you brush off traditions this upcoming holiday season, add another to your rotation: volunteering.
Job loss, medical complications, and unforeseen circumstances can make the holiday season a time of stress rather than celebration this year for nearly 47 million Americans living in poverty. In the spirit of giving, joyfully do your part to spread holiday cheer for those that may not otherwise experience it. Raccoon Valley Bank suggests you and your loved ones check out some of these community-building activities over the next month:
- Make food and dish it out- cookies and casseroles can be great gifts this time of year. You can provide them for those who don’t have the means or are short on food, as well firefighters, police officers and other public servants.
- Pack stockings for the homeless- pick out some cheap stockings and fill them with practical items. These can range from food and drink (granola bars, bottles of water, etc.) to gloves, socks and hygiene items.
- Donate old toys- kids’ toys and games can get pricey in a hurry. Purge your kids’ toys to donate to kids who aren’t as fortunate.
- Pay a visit to a local nursing home- the holidays can be tough times for elderly people living in nursing homes. A small visit or gift from a stranger could brighten their day, or even make their entire week.
- “Adopt” a family- there are many ways you can support families in our community. A food pantry would be a good place to start to find out about families in need and support them throughout the winter, the toughest time for families in need.
- Donate to a food bank- winter, especially in our area, is a difficult part of the year; it is far worse if you don’t have enough food. Food banks and food pantries could put your donation to good use.
- Have family members make a donation in your name- replace one thing on your Christmas list with the wish that in lieu of a present, a donation is made in your name to the charity of your choice.
Make a difference in the lives of your neighbors and your community this holiday by lending a hand when and where you can. Sharing your resources will help you share a memory with your loved ones as you create a new family tradition that makes the holidays a little brighter for all.
Raccoon Valley Bank, Equal Housing Lender, Member FDIC