This post is sponsored by Amazon, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is to give back to others. Here are 5 super easy ways to give back this holiday season!
From a young age, my mom taught me the importance of giving back… Even when we had very little she taught me that we always had something to give, even if it was donating our clothes when we outgrew them or donating a couple of cans of food to the canned food drive at school.
Since then I have kept the spirit of giving in my heart and have tried to instill that in my kids.
I recall a few years ago I called my mom on a cold December day, and said, “Mom let’s go buy a bunch of hot chocolate and give it to everyone we see working in this cold weather!”
Well, we went and bought a bunch of hot chocolate and gave it to everyone we saw outside working: landscapers, police officers, the Walmart cart guy, etc.”
I can’t even begin to explain to you the joy I felt as I handed each cup of hot chocolate to them knowing this small gesture was making a difference in a small way to that worker.
Every year we try to teach our kids to give back by donating food to the local food drives, to our church, and by adopting a family during Christmas time. Giving back to others and making a small difference in the lives of others is actually my very favorite part of the holiday season!
So I thought I would share with you 5 easy ways to give back this holiday season!
Donate to the local food drive
There are so many opportunities to help families that are in need of food, especially during the holiday season. My kids’ schools often have food drives that we buy extra nonperishable foods to donate to.
We really enjoy making a shopping list of what we would be buying for our own traditional holiday dinners and making sure those ingredients are available for families that need a little extra help.
You don’t have to wait for a food drive to donate food though! There are lots of churches and local food banks that accept donations throughout the whole year!
Adopt a family
Another great opportunity to give back during the holidays is to adopt a family or an individual for Christmas.
This can be done by picking an angel off a giving tree and buying for that person, or organizing a plan to be secret Santas for a family that could use a little bit of love this Christmas season.
We love to team up with several other families to adopt a family for 12 days and make secret deliveries each night for the whole family. We give gifts of clothes, toys for the kids, a little something for mom and dad, and food for Christmas dinner.
Of course, this is just one way to do it, there are many ways to adopt a family during the Christmas season.
Make Blessing Bags
Blessing bags are a wonderful way to meet people’s needs without having to actually ask.
Have you ever heard of a blessing bag before?
They are simply a bag of necessities that someone in need can keep with them.
Our family loves to make a list of basic necessities people may be in need of and assemble them together. Some great examples of things you can include in a blessing bag are:
- hand warmers
- hand sanitizer
- toothbrush and toothpaste
- tissues or wipes
- and even a snack like a granola bar.
When we make blessing bags, we line everything up and then make an assembly line to pack up all the “blessings (supplies)” in a gallon-sized bag and then deliver them!
The best part about blessing bags is that even little kids can be included and help gather everything.
Aside from all the physical needs that are being addressed with blessing bags, my favorite part is adding a nice encouraging note letting them know they are loved. Trust me, the note is worth the little bit of extra time!
I love to always keep some of these in the back of my car when I feel prompted to give someone a little “blessing”.
One of my favorite things to do this time of year is to volunteer in the community.
There are so many opportunities to volunteer. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen, at a food bank, at a local school. The possibilities are endless!
My favorite place to volunteer is at the local CPS office where I can wrap Christmas presents. There is something special about seeing all the amazing gifts that have been donated by the community for these sweet children and getting to help wrap them so all kids can have the joy of unwrapping presents on Christmas.
I always take my older kids with me on wrapping day so they can feel just how amazing it feels to give someone else the joy of Christmas.
Give back while shopping
With how busy we all are sometimes it is so hard to find the time to give back, so thankfully Amazon is making it easier than ever this holiday season with AmazonSmile, AmazonSmile Charity Lists and donating via Alexa. I’m Delivering Smiles with Amazon this holiday season by donating to some of my favorite charities.
AmazonSmile Charity Lists
AmazonSmile Charity Lists are a great way to search for your favorite organizations and shop off their Charity List for things they need.
Once you purchase the items, they are delivered directly to the charity. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
Some of my favorite charities include Make a Wish, Toys for Tots, the Linus Project, and of course all the ones the support the Veterans in our country.
There are so many different charities to choose from to help provide to those who need it most!
AmazonSmile allows you to support your favorite charity by simply shopping!
When you use AmazonSmile by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com, for every qualifying purchase you make on Amazon they will donate a portion of your purchases to the charity of your choice at no additional cost to you.
Donate through Alexa
“Alexa, I want to make a donation.”
Yes, donating just became that easy! Amazon is making it even easier to give back!
To donate to a registered charity all you have to say is, “Alexa, I want to make a donation,” from any Alexa-enabled device.
So while you are finding the perfect gift on Amazon for everyone on your list, why not give back while doing so by donating – through AmazonSmile, AmazonSmile Charity Lists, or donating via Alexa – at the same time! Or better yet, give an Amazon gift card, so your friends and family can pay it forward by buying something from an AmazonSmile Charity List.
This year, while I have been shopping for Christmas presents, I have tried to give back to those that don’t have the same luxury. I am doing this by using AmazonSmile, which donates a portion of my eligible purchases to my selected charity.
Not only have we done that, but I let the kids help me pick out toys off the AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate! It is so easy to do!
Just pick your charity and go to their wish list and add the items you would like to donate to your checkout list.
Giving back has never been easier!
So, while you are running around getting ready for Christmas, don’t forget to visit Amazon’s Holiday Store for everything you need (and more) this holiday season!
What are some other ways you give back during the holiday season? Share in the comments!
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Michele is a Family Life Educator with her degree in marriage and family studies. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!