Happy Monday! It’s December 2nd and Thanksgiving is over, so (to me) it’s now appropriate to focus on the Christmas season. I absolutely love this time of year: the music, the twinkling lights, the food! And I love giving gifts, of course! But a few years back, my family decided we are fortunate enough to not really NEED gifts. We found it became too stressful and unnecessary to shop for and get each other gifts that we ultimately didn’t want or need. So my parents did a little research and found a local organization that had families in need of some Christmas help. For years now, we’ve been “adopting” a family for Christmas and shopping for their necessities. It’s humbling to see basics like coats, boots, socks and toothbrushes on these wish lists. The fun part is that we also get to buy some of their “wants”, although that list is still shorter than my Christmas list ever was as a child. It’s been one of the most fun and rewarding experiences for me to give to those who truly need help in lieu of our own Christmas gifts. Please understand I’m not preaching or trying to make anyone feel guilty for enjoying their own Christmas gifts! I simply want to share my experience and encourage you to get involved with GIVING more this holiday season.
Below is a list of just a few of the charities/organizations you can get involved with this season…
New York Cares Winter Wishes. I just signed up to be a Wish Maker and I couldn’t be more excited to get the info for the kids I’ll be buying for.
Another great option to shop for those in need is the St. Nicholas Project through Catholic Charities. On December 14th, you can head over to the KMart on Astor Place in NYC to purchase clothes, coats, toys and more for distribution during the holidays and throughout the year.
Toys for Tots is probably one of the most well-known organizations for giving presents during the holidays, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less awesome.
Last, but most certainly not least, the holidays are a time to remember our heroes! Sign up to send holiday cards to vets, active-duty service members and their families through Holiday Mail for Heroes. You can also donate to Operation Phone Home, a program created by the USO to provide international calling cards for deployed troops to call their loved ones, which is especially important during the holidays.
Tell me…do you usually volunteer or donate to a charity during the holidays? Do you know of any other organizations in need of help?