With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are many needs to fill, but while pre-pandemic years saw large groups of people volunteering in a soup kitchen or visiting a nursing home, many such programs are currently limited or put on hold in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Fortunately, there are still many outlets to give this season. If you’re looking for a way to make someone else’s holiday season a little brighter, here are 10 easy things you can do today.
Ways you can donate in December
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Mulberry has pledged to donate $10 to Americares for each protection plan shoppers get on our browser extension through the end of December. That includes our free 1-year plans as well as our low-cost, longer term plans. Add our browser extension for online shopping and you’ll immediately be presented with offers for free product protection plans on eligible products wherever you shop.
- Find a blood drive near you
Blood donors are always needed. The Red Cross is reporting a significant blood shortage, which means your donation can have a bigger impact than ever. Visit the Red Cross site at the link above to find a blood drive near you, and make an appointment or stop by today to give a life-saving gift to someone in medical need.
- Bring non-perishables to a local food bank
While many soup kitchens might be limiting in person volunteer opportunities this year, the need for food is just as high. Feeding America offers a nationwide search network so you can find the food bank in your area.
The next time you’re at the grocery store, grab a few extra cans or boxes of staple items to drop off at your local shelter or food bank. Be sure to call your local food bank ahead of time to see if they have any requirements or restrictions on what food items they can accept.
- Donate a toy to a child in need
If you want to bring some holiday cheer to a child who could use a gift this season, consider donating a toy. Toys for Tots allows you to donate a toy virtually through selecting a child’s age and toy on their site for purchase. They also offer physical donations at toy drop locations to collect toys for kids in need.
- Check in on elderly or isolated neighbors and family members
If you’re looking to provide some service in your community, do a check-in on anyone in your neighborhood or community who might be alone this season. Those who are housebound for medical or other reasons might have other needs this season.
A call or knock on the door of someone who is home alone can be a valuable check-in to see if they’re safe and need any help. Offer your service to pick up groceries or medications or run errands.
- Donate your old furniture and appliances
If you’re shopping for new furniture or home goods this year, consider donating your old items to Habitat for Humanity ReStores. They accept furniture, appliances, and home goods that are in good condition. The ReStores locations sell donated items for a low cost to families in the community. All sales from donated items help fund Habitat for Humanity’s work to build and repair safe and affordable housing for families and individuals.
- Give socks to a homeless shelter
Homeless shelters report that socks, underwear, and hats are some of the most needed items in shelters. You can find a shelter near you in the linked homeless shelter directory. Contact your local shelter to ask what items they’re in need of. Adding a pair of socks or underwear to your next clothing purchase is a small cost that can go a long way to help shelters provide needed supplies to those in need.
- Shop with AmazonSmile
If you regularly shop on Amazon, be sure you always check out through AmazonSmile. The Smile site allows you to select a charity to support from a list of over 1 million options. Then as you search for and purchase items as you would on the standard site, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your spending on eligible items towards the charity you chose.
- Clean out old clothes and toys to give away
Toys and clothes are some of the most popular items to give and receive during the holiday season. If you’ll be getting new items this year, make room in your closet or toy box by clearing out the things you don’t use any more. The Salvation Army accepts used items to sell in their thrift stores. You can find a drop-off location near you, or if you have a large donation, you can schedule a free pickup through their site.
- Give a donation in someone’s name as a gift
Many charities allow you to make a monetary contribution and list it in honor of another person. If you have someone on your list who seems to have everything, making a donation in their name is a great and heartfelt option.
United Way is one charity organization that offers the option to list a donation as in honor of or in memory of a person. Financial donations support their efforts to provide health, education, and financial stability in the US and across the world. Your gift can give twice as it helps someone in need while providing a meaningful gift for the person it’s donated in honor of.
Find your way to give back this holiday season
There are many great ways to help those in your community and around the world this December. Look for a way that you can contribute today!