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5 Ways You Can Give Back This Holiday Season

By: Georgia Schumacher

November 15, 2018

While every season is a good season to give back to your community, the holidays are a perfect time to appreciate not only how much you have, but also how much you have to give to others. Whether through time, money, gifts, and even your creative talents , there are so many things you can do to spread holiday cheer all around. Here are five ideas to get you started.

Ways You Can Give Back This Holiday Season

1. Volunteer your time

Volunteering is one of the most classic ways to give back to your community. Whether on your own or with family and friends, consider volunteering for a few hours on a regular basis. Many organizations are in need of volunteers to do everything from serving food to walking animals to mentoring youth in the community. Sites likeVolunteermatch.org and idealist.org are great places to find local groups that want your help!

2. Give to meaningful causes

If you don’t have the time in your busy schedule to volunteer, local nonprofits could always use monetary donations. Even when you don’t have much to give, every bit matters. For example, stores often encourage you to round up to the nearest dollar and donate to an organization as you’re checking out and paying for your purchases. Another way to donate to charities without breaking the bank is to replace presents with donations in someone’s name. We all have that relative or friend who is hard to buy for. This year, donate to a cause they’re passionate about. It’s a thoughtful gift that’s also good for the world.

3. Donate items you no longer need

Everyone has something in the back of their closet they haven’t worn for years. Or perhaps you have a corner of your basement where you stack boxes of books and miscellaneous items you no longer need. This holiday season, gather up these old clothes and unwanted odds and ends to donate to a charity like Goodwill or Salvation Army near you. A few days before you make the drop off, check with friends and neighbors to see if they have anything they’d also like to give away.

(Be sure to document what you give away and get a receipt for the drop off. Just like with monetary donations, you can get tax write offs for donating your lightly used goods.)

4. Grow your gift list

If you’re already shopping for gifts this holiday season, why not add one more person to your list? Many organizations, like Toys for Tots and One Simple Wish, deliver gifts to children in need. Hospitals are another place that often ask for toys around the holidays. Some organizations even have Amazon wish lists already created from which you can buy directly.

5. Put your skills to use

Apply the creative talents you’ve been refining and the new skills you’ve learned in your creative arts education to help members of your community. Create artwork for a local charity that they could either use to decorate their buildings or auction off to raise money. Design and print cards to send to patients in nursing homes or hospitals. Help a nonprofit improve their marketing or website. Prepare a meal for those in need or bake sweet treats for the people you’re grateful for in your community, like firefighters, EMTs, and nurses. There are tons of ways to use your creative skills for the greater good.

Learn more about how students in The Art Institutes system of schools give back to their communities at https://www.artinstitutes.edu/care .

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By: Georgia Schumacher

November 15, 2018