In this season of giving back, during this time of COVID, it is hard to know how & where to donate your time and/or finances. There are so many ways to give and we have rounded up some of our favorite ways to give back this holiday season (or really any season) because we all know that right now especially there are so many people in need. On this list of ways to give back you’ll find a variety of organizations to give to and ways to give back to individuals instead of organizations if that is your preference.
Operation Christmas Child
We love OCC and put together multiple shoe boxes every year. These shoe boxes are filled with small toys, hygiene products, and school supplies for children outside of the US that have been affected by war, poverty, famine, and natural disaster. Although the collection time is over, you can still build a shoe box online here. This is a great option to give back while staying safe at home!
Bernie’s Book Bank
With both Michelle and I being teachers, this organization is near and dear to our hearts. 2 out of 3 low-income children do not have any books of their own at home, and Bernie’s Books is helping change that in the Chicagoland area. Click here to donate $12, that money will provide one child with 12 books!
This is another local organization that especially speaks to Michelle’s heart (she works in Special Education). Clearbrook provides services for children, adults, and families that are impacted by developmental and intellectual delays. There are so many ways to help this organization out. One special way, other than monetary, is that if you are in the position to hire individuals – you can reach out here to employ on of their clients! Otherwise you can easily provide a monetary donation (and other ways are listed on their site) here.
Feed My Starving Children
We love FMSC and have volunteered there multiple times. They are still open for volunteering (with new guidelines/restrictions obviously), so if you are healthy, comfortable, live near a FMSC location, and are looking for a charitable activity for the whole family – then look no further! If you are not able to give your time at this moment then you can donate as well. Money donated here goes to supplying FMSC locations with the supplies needed for volunteers to pack the food (MannaPack – rice, soy, vegetables, and vitamin flavor), just $88 will feed one child for an entire year!
Crayons to Cradles
Crayons to Cradles serves children from birth to 12 years old who are living in homeless or low income situations by providing them with essential items! You, and your family (as young as 5 years old), can go volunteer your time at the Giving Factory or if you are more comfortable they also have an option to donate.
Fill A Heart 4 Kids
FAH4K cares for a loves on homeless youth and foster children in order for them to heal and feel valued. These children are provided with educational support and necessary resources to have positive experiences which will inturn heal their hearts and restore their dignity. There are many volunteer opportunities throughout the year, we are sure that there is one that you might want to get involved in!
One SIMPLE way to give back – make cards for the elderly. They need so much extra love this year and it doesn’t take much to put a smile on their faces. The other day the boys made cards for their Great-Grandma who (like many) will be alone this holiday season. While we were making the cards Hunter said, “I hope these cards make her happy. I’m sure she is going to be so sad when she is alone on Christmas.” Sometimes it’s the simplest and easiest things that make the biggest difference. You could also have all your neighborhood kids make a couple cards, then drop them off at an assisted living home and give a little love and magic to those sweet elderly folks who will be alone this holiday season.