How to Give Back During the Holidays

Ellory Brossette, Local, State and National

As we go about the stress and hardships of our every day lives, it’s not difficult to forget just how blessed we are. Giving back is a great way to practice being grateful, and the holidays offer a great opportunity to do so.

Here are some ways to give back this holiday season.

  1. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen

Volunteering at a soup kitchen is a great way to give back. The tasks performed at a soup kitchen typically include preparing or serving food, gathering supplies and setting tables. Many soup kitchens also accept donated money that goes toward their organization.

  1. Donate to a trustworthy charity

Giving to charity is beneficial year-round, and the holidays are a great time to consider donating. Of course, charities should be researched prior to donation. Some non-profit and/or trustworthy charities to consider donating to this year are:


St. Jude


  1. Give to a local food pantry

Food pantries are constantly in need of donations, especially during the holidays. Food items such as canned goods and non-perishables can be donated.

Houston Food Pantries

  1. Volunteer at a local senior living community

Senior living communities often hold volunteer opportunities, which are also available and needed during holidays. Volunteering at these communities can involve planning or helping with activities, or even just interacting with and improving the day of the residents in the community.

  1. Donate to an animal shelter

Money and supplies can be donated to animal shelters during the winter. Things to donate include toys, old towels and shredded paper. This can help organizations in taking better care of their sheltered and/or fostered animals, depending on the organization. (Don’t forget, there are always animals that need loving homes, too!)

  1. Help out a military family in need

During the holidays, families with members active in the military often have needs that aren’t easy to meet due to factors such as schedule and financial status. To help families like these, money and gifts can be donated to charities that are specific to this cause.

Military Families in Need


  1. Adopt a family

Christmas is often seen as a joy-filled day of spending time with family and of course, receiving presents. However some families are not always fortunate enough to afford the Christmas experience they wish to give to their children. To help families like these, you can participate in “adopting a family,” meaning you can donate some or all of the presents on a specific family’s wish-list. Here’s more information on what this entails, and how you can participate:

  1. Bake some cookies (and give them to local firefighters or law enforcement )

For many, baking Christmas cookies is a yearly tradition. This year, pack them up and give them to some hardworking individuals in your area. You can send your cookies to a local fire station or police station to thank them for all that they do to help your community.

  1. Welcome a friend to spend the holidays with your family

Many of us have had times in our lives where we feel alone. With this said, no one should feel alone during the holidays. If you have a friend or family member that may not have someone to share Christmas with, offer to let them spend it with you and your loved ones.

  1. Make a special effort to spread kindness around your community

Another way to give back to your community is by spreading kindness and paying it forward. Some kind gestures include anonymously paying for someone’s food or groceries, giving out genuine compliments to strangers or loved ones or offering help to someone who may need it. Doing things like this for people in your community can put a smile on the face of someone who really needs one.