Great Ways to Help the Less Fortunate This Holiday Season

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For many, the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. But for others who are not as fortunate, it’s just another time of hardship and making ends meet. While no person alone can change that, you can certainly do your part to have a positive impact on someone’s life. Here are a few ways you can help those who are less fortunate this holiday season.

Volunteer at a Kitchen, a Shelter, or Wherever Else You Can Help

It’s good to give, and it feels good to give. By volunteering somewhere in person, not only are you really giving a helping hand, but you can also see the direct results of your charitable actions. Although the image that first comes to mind of holiday volunteering may be helping out at the local soup kitchen, remember that there are many places that could use your help. Do a little research on who in your area needs volunteers – especially those that are short-staffed.

Donate to a Good (and Reputable) Cause

If you can’t make it out to volunteer in person, there are other ways of helping out, such as with your wallet. There are countless charities out there that benefit people in all sorts of unfortunate situations. While you might not see the direct result of your contributions, you can at least give to causes that are more specific and near to your heart. Keep in mind, however, that

many well-known charities are not as forthcoming with how they spend their funds as they’re believed to be. Do your research before you give any money so you can be sure that the dollars you give are being used to their greatest ability.

Give Nonperishable Goods

If you’re unsure about blindly giving money, or you’d rather be a little more focused in your giving, you can always donate clothing and nonperishable food items to shelters in your area. Do note that you shouldn’t necessarily head to the supermarket and buy dozens of cans of soup; most shelters will have a list of things they’re in particular need of. That said, if you’re cleaning out the closet or you have some unexpired food taking space in the cupboard, most places should be happy to accept what you have.

Invite a Friend or Neighbor to Spend the Holiday With You

Those who are less fortunate might not always appear to be what you conceive as “less fortunate.” Sadly, many folks–and some you may know–don’t have anyone to spend the holidays with. If you know someone in your life who might be lonely during the holiday season, try reaching out to invite them to the celebration that you may be hosting. This kind of giving isn’t all too unusual, and as long as you frame the gesture as an invitation rather than charity, the recipient should be happy to accept.

Giving during the holiday season is important, but remember, there are many people out there who need help at any time of the year. You don’t need to wait for the holiday season to chip in. Perhaps the charitable actions you make during the holiday season could become a tradition that doesn’t happen only every year, but throughout it as well.

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