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It’s fun to receive gifts during the holidays, but it’s also fun to give to others. Several years ago after the tragic loss of my brother, I started to volunteer more to help pass the time and heal my heart. His birthday was December 15, so the holidays were especially hard. Every year since I can’t celebrate with him, my son and I celebrate in our own way. There are lots of easy ways to give this holiday season and many of those can be inexpensive gifts. I’ve compiled a list of easy ways to give this holiday season with the help of my sponsor b+b® so that you can help make someone’s holiday season be a little merrier.
10 Inexpensive & Easy Ways To Give This Holiday Season
Are you looking for inexpensive gifts to round out your holiday shopping budget this year? Are you looking to do something simple but special that will make a true difference this year?
1. Clean out your closets and help someone in need. This will give you the perfect opportunity to get rid of everything you no longer need. You will be surprised by how many things are taking up valuable space in your home. Anything that can’t be reused by someone should be disposed of properly. You may wish to invest in a dumpster rental Cedar Rapids IA in order to do this effectively. Local coat drives are always looking for new or gently used coats to help those in your community during the cold winter months. Think beyond donating to large donation centers. Instead, consider donating to a school resource center or church-based charity to ensure that your gifts benefit local residents and aren’t diluted by administrative overhead expenses.
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2. Pay it forward, literally. The next time you’re in a drive-through, pay for the order placed by the car behind you. Sometimes something as small as a cup of coffee is all it takes to make someone’s day.
3. Visit a neighbor. The holidays can be an especially lonely time for some people. A simple card can be very nice, and if it includes a photo of your family, it has a personal touch that is more likely to be kept and treasured. If you like to bake, a couple dollars in supplies and a tin full of cookies or holiday candy is a nice token. You never know when you might be the only person a neighbor sees in a day–or even a week. And there’s no greater gift than your time; ask them if they need any help around the house.
4. Clean out your pantry to help fill someone else’s. If your family is like ours, you often buy more canned goods than you can use. I hate the feeling of looking into my pantry and finding something that has expired before we could use it. It is far better to clean out the back of those shelves and take a box to your local food drive or soup kitchen than to keep it until it has to go out in the weekly trash.
5. Send Christmas cards and/or care packages to deployed service members. There are several organizations that will pair you with a service member stationed outside the U.S. so that you can send Christmas cards and/or care packages. To a person serving their country thousands of miles from home, the smallest act of kindness can brighten a holiday spent apart from their family.
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6. Volunteer your time. There are lots of local organizations where volunteer hours can make a huge impact. Box food for distribution at a food pantry, serve the homeless at a soup kitchen, or play games with residents at a local nursing home. My husband’s grandmother spent her last years in a local care facility, and the highlight of her day was receiving guests. Not just family, but former neighbors, church members, and others gave her something to talk about with her friends up and down the hall. This holiday is especially difficult without her, and we often wonder about her friends that we no longer see on a regular basis. Many have no families, or their families live out of state, so their only interaction is with staff.
7. Consider making a donation to Toys for Tots or pick up an angel from an Angel Tree. Lots of organizations sponsor similar events that help to ensure children who otherwise wouldn’t receive a gift share in the holiday cheer.
8. Spread a little holiday cheer in unexpected ways. If you rent movies from an automated kiosk, slip some extra cash into the case with the movie when you return it. The next person to rent the film or game is sure to be surprised.
9. Consider donating your working cell phones to organizations that support victims of domestic violence. These phones can often be reconnected as emergency phones for individuals to use if they feel that they are in an unsafe situation.
10. Do you collect extra travel-sized shampoo and conditioner when you travel? If so, assemble toiletry kits that can be given to individuals in need. Consider including other items (not just soap and shampoo) like razors, toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, and combs. These can also be donated to organizations that support families who have to travel far from home to receive specialized medical services.
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These are a few simple ways you can think “outside the box” to make this holiday season brighter for someone. A little effort can make a big difference, especially if everyone pitches in. I like to know I make the most of my holiday spending, so I try to buy products from socially responsible companies that reinvest in their communities. b+b is a family-owned health and wellness company. With every purchase of a b+b product, you are helping those impacted by homelessness, poverty and natural disasters. b+b has a buy one, give one policy. Did you know that for or every product purchased b+b will donate a product to a person in need? They do this through their national partnership with Americares. They have donated medicines to a network of over 1,000 free health clinics and rural health centers.
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How do you think “outside the box” during the holidays? I’d love to hear your creative ideas for making this season special and spreading holiday cheer.
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