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Keeping the Holidays Alive in Your Community

By Heather Brown
December 16, 2016

For many, the holiday season is a time of joy and celebration. It is also a time of sadness and struggle for some individuals in our local communities. There are a number of nonprofits and volunteers that actively look for ways to help these individuals. Even if your nonprofit’s mission doesn’t directly relate, you can still help keep the Holidays alive this year.

Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations focus on carrying out a defined mission to better their community. The donations they receive throughout the year are required to directly support the services that bring the mission alive. It is still possible to help bring the Christmas spirit to those in need this year.

Here are eight ways you can help community members this year no matter what your mission is.

  1. Match them with another nonprofit. When you meet individuals that need help but are unable to offer that help, take the time to find a nonprofit that can. This small act of kindness goes a long way to helping lift the individual’s spirits and giving them hope for the holidays.
  2. Pay it forward initiative. Launch a pay it forward initiative that instills the spirit of giving in others. Small acts of kindness like paying for coffee or letting somebody in front of you in line can catapult into much larger and meaningful acts. Use your established voice on social media, in your local newspapers, or on local media channels to promote the movement and encourage involvement.
  3. Partner with other nonprofits. There are a number of nonprofits that rely on collections to help the community. Partner with organizations like Toys for Tots, local animal shelters, or people shelters to collect toys, blankets, coats, and canned goods. Advertise your location as a drop-off center for these goods. Deliver them to the nonprofit so they can continue to spread the Christmas joy.
  4. Host holiday fundraisers. Increase the Christmas spirit by hosting Holiday fundraiser parties. Collection donations to families in need, educate the community on your mission and spark some holiday happiness with food, entertainment, and games.
  5. Decorate your windows. Nonprofits that are located in a downtown area or have a window front have a great tool for keeping the holidays alive a place to decorate. Spruce up your front windows and door with wreaths, lights, trees, and Santa figurines this year. The passersby’s will appreciate the beauty and festiveness of your hard work.
  6. Promote your needs. Create a list of items you need to continue your mission and help community members through the Holiday season. Post this list in public places like waiting rooms and share the list on your social media profiles to increase awareness. Being able to successfully carry out your mission requires you to educate your community.
  7. Deliver care packages. Use the items you receive from donations to create care packages (also known as blessing bags) and distribute them to the homeless members of your community. Beneficial items to include in the bags are a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, protein snacks, and a bottle of water. It may seem small, but the thought goes a long way.
  8. Deliver food. Find a local restaurant willing to donate meals to feed the homeless. Recruit members of your volunteer team to deliver the meals to those living on the streets. The number of hot meals they receive is limited and the thoughtfulness increases their hope and belief in the holiday spirit.

It is unlikely that every member of your local community will be filled with the Christmas spirit during the holiday season. There are a number of ways you can help keep the Holidays alive for those in need.

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