It's the season of giving, so many look for ways to give to those in need. Whether it's by donating money, items, or time, there are many things you can do to bless others during the holiday season. Sure, volunteering should not be limited to the Christmas season, but the holidays can be a time when people are more in need than ever. Whether you want to volunteer alone or bring the entire family with you, here are some ways you can volunteer during this Christmas season.
Take a Meal to Someone in Need
If you know a family who is going through a hard time, consider bringing them a meal. Whether it's an illness, a death in the family, or financial trouble, bringing a meal can mean so much to those who are struggling. Contact them beforehand to find out whether or not they have any allergies or intolerances. Ask them if they have any special requests. If they decline your offer, let them know how much you would like to bless them with a meal. Some people have a hard time accepting help, so don't be too quick to take no for an answer.
Shovel a Neighbor's Driveway
If you live in a particularly snowy area, then shoveling the driveway of a neighbor is very thoughtful. This is especially true if the neighbor is not physically able to shovel the driveway on their own. You can take this further and shovel it anonymously. They may see you while you are shoveling or they may not notice until you are finished, but either way it will be a nice surprise.
Many parents struggle with the inability to give their children toys for Christmas. This is a great time for you to gather up the toys your children don't play with anymore, or go to the toy store and buy a few items to donate. You can donate to a specific organization or to a family you personally know who is in need. If you donate to an organization, don't forget about older kids. A lot of toys donated are meant for smaller children, while toys for older children aren't as common. Some inexpensive gift ideas include:
Coloring books and crayons A bouncy ball Toy cars Dolls
If you have children, this is a great opportunity to explain to them how there are children who don't always get toys for Christmas. You may be surprised at their willingness to pick out toys for these children. Some kids may even sacrifice some of their own Christmas presents to help children who won't receive anything.
Ring Christmas Bells
Many stores have bell ringers outside for people to donate their change to. You've probably noticed them while you have shopped during the holiday season. Your spare change can go to those in need during the season. In addition to donate your change, you can offer to help ring bells. You can do this by yourself, with your family, or with a close friend. If you don't have the time to ring the bells, consider bringing a hot chocolate or a coffee to those who are on a particularly cold night. These small acts of kindness can often mean more than you know.
Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
The homeless are everywhere, so the opportunities to serve them are nearly endless. One chance to do this is at a soup kitchen. You can serve them food, and also give them company while they eat. You may have more fun than you think; it can be entertaining talking with them and hearing their stories. This is another opportunity to get your children involved if they are old enough.
Don't let the season pass you by without volunteering at least once. Not only will you bless those around you, you will likely benefit from your time served as well.