It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the most wonderful time of year. It’s important to remember the real spirit of the season – showing appreciation and giving. No matter how big or small of a gesture, it’s always the thought that counts, so we asked our family here at the Inn about their favorite ways to give back during the holiday season (and all year long). We hope these inspire you to share some holiday magic where you are.
Pick an afternoon to volunteer your time for a local survival center like The Amherst Survival Center. Your local fire and police departments don’t take holidays off and are always appreciative of a little holiday cheer – bring them some cookies or a meal. This time of year can be especially hard for our military heroes that are overseas and away from their families, so a personalized letter, card, or care package can really lift their spirits.
Don’t forget our furry friends! Organizations like the Dakin Humane Society rely on monetary donations for support but also have high daily operational needs. All season long, we have a donation box for Dakin; you can drop off trash bags, paper towels, canned and dry dog and cat food, litter, and toys. Regularly, we donate our old towels and sheets to make cozy bedding for all of their four-legged guests.
Make your holiday shopping really count. Link your existing Amazon Prime account up to Amazon Smile and choose a charity of your choice for donations. A portion of every purchase will be donated to that charity every single time you shop for qualifying items. Amanda has hers linked to support Pediatric Congenital Heart Association Inc., while Fabio donates to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
According to the Red Cross, the winter is historically one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood and platelets to meet patient needs. Holiday activities, seasonal illnesses, and winter weather can make it difficult for many regular donors to make their donations. Despite these challenges, patients still depend on lifesaving donations every day. Visit the American Red Cross to find a blood drive near you.
It’s important to teach your kids the significance of giving, even at a young age. Include them in the conversation, and help them understand where their parents’ monetary donations are going (and why). A clever idea we like is to give them their own pre-determined amount of money as one of their gifts, and then help them to choose a charity or organization (or several!) that they would like to support, and let them decide where they would like to donate.