As Thanksgiving (and even Halloween!) become an afterthought and the Christmas merch extravaganza hits stores earlier and earlier each year, let’s all remember the reason for the season. Gifts are great, but giving them is better.
Charity work and philanthropic giving is part of a lot of religious communities, and some people just feel compelled to do their part. But, it turns out, giving back is good for the giver, too. Gratitude is proven to help self-esteem, improve self-worth, and generally turn up the good feels dial. Gratitude is also what drives us to “give back.” Psychologically, it prompts us to pay it forward, helping society in the process.
Plenty of worthwhile charities need your help year round, but the holidays are a perfect season to donate your time and resources to causes you support whether that’s helping families make the holidays special for their children, bringing meals to older adults, or running a race to combat bullying. These are just some of the ways to give back this holiday season. Check out our list below to see if there’s a cause that deserves some of your much-needed attention.
Give to Toys for Tots – This charity drive is probably the most well-known around the holiday season. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation was founded in 1991, and has collected more toys than it’s possible to count in that time. Check their website as we get closer to the happiest time of year to find drop locations so you can make it the happiest time of year for all children in the Savannah region.
Sponsor a Child through CASA – CASA, or Court-Appointed Special Advocates, is a nonprofit that works to support children who have been in abusive situations. During the holiday season you can sponsor a child by making a donation or by becoming a family’s Secret Santa and granting them their Christmas wish list.
Participate in the 9th Annual Reindeer Run – Race an 8k around Hutchinson Island on Saturday, December 15 to support the Rape Crisis Center’s Step-Up & Step-In campaign to run against bullying. This race comes with some special treats – a Best Cookie contest baked by top dessert chefs in the region.
Deliver Meals on Wheels – Volunteer with Senior Citizens, Inc. to deliver hot meals to older adults. Especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas, some of our older neighbors would love the company, the nutritious meal, and a smiling face at their doors. Senior Citizens, Inc. also has other volunteer opportunities like helping an older adult get to doctor’s appointments or volunteering at an adult day center to lead games and activities.
Help out at Union Mission’s Holiday Meals – More than 4,000 people experienced homeless in Savannah in 2018. Help support them and make their holidays a little brighter by volunteering to serve at one of Union Mission’s holiday meals at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Write Letters to Members of our Military – Many of our service people are deployed during the holidays. Send a letter thanking them for their service to our country. They give up time with loved ones to serve, and a warm letter shows them our gratitude for their work.