The holidays are a tough time for so many people. But, one of the best ways to cope with the holiday blues (and be a better human) is to do things to help others.
We get so caught up with our own problems that sometimes we forget that many people have it much, much worse than us.
Here are some things you can do this holiday season to make a difference in others’ lives and feel better about yourself.
- Sign up to be an organ donor. The way I see it, when my time has come, I know I can’t take my organs with me, so why wouldn’t I donate them to someone who can use them? You are literally giving the gift of life to up to 8 people … what better way to go out than that? Sign up here.
- Donate your money, used goods, and/or time. I realize many people may not have extra money to give and are just doing their best to get by. But everyone has a) time, and b) stuff they don’t use anymore. Organizations like Goodwill and Salvation Army will take your used stuff, sell it, and use the proceeds to make a difference in your local community. If you do have money to donate, one of my favorite charities is Feeding America, which helps provide meals for the 1 out of every 9 Americans who face hunger every day.
- Help an animal in need. If you’re an animal lover, here are some ideas from Petfinder to help out our furry friends.
- Call or spend face-to-face time with someone you love. As a society we’ve become reliant on email and text. While efficient, they are obviously not nearly as personal as face-to-face communication or talking to someone over the phone. So pick up the phone and call a friend or family member you haven’t talked to … especially those ones that may be alone around the holidays.
- Plant a tree in a loved one’s honor. Trees add value to your home, regulate the temperature of your house and neighborhood, and provide food for wildlife. And, what better way to remember someone you care about than planting something beautiful that will provide benefits to the world long after you’re gone? A $50 membership to the Arbor Day Foundation makes a great gift (plus they’ll give you 5 free trees)! They have great deals on trees and shipments arrive in both spring and fall.
- Give a toy to a child in need. If you have the resources, you can score some great deals on toys around the holidays and donate them to the Marine Toys for Tots program. It’s a wonderful way to put a smile on a child’s face this holiday season.
- Support our brave military members and their families. Soldier’s Angels is a great organization that offers a number of ways to help you make a difference in the lives of our military service members, veterans, and their families.
Let us know what you’re doing to give back this holiday season!