It’s that joyous, festive time of year. Families are frantically preparing for grand feasts, shopping for presents, and pulling out their long-sealed bins of decorating supplies. The holidays are about sharing, caring, and spreading joy—not just for your family, but for others. By volunteering and donating, you can brighten people’s holiday season and transform the world into a better, happier place.
Here’s the importance of giving back during the holiday season.
Spread the Cheer
It feels great when you’re able to bring a big, bright smile to someone’s face. That’s the entire point of the holiday season, right? You can brighten a child’s day by donating a heap of presents to Toys for Tots. Not everyone can afford to buy their children presents, and some children don’t have the luxury of a family at all. Make their holiday season special by giving them something to unwrap on Christmas morning.
Grab your favorite pen and a piece of stationary and get writing. Send simple, touching letters to people in hospitals and nursing homes. Ordering something at a coffee shop or buying groceries at your local supermarket? Offer to pay for the person behind you. For some people, the holiday season is a lonely, stressful time. With these small but meaningful actions, you can instantly improve their day.
Help Those in Need
When you’re out looking for gifts, think carefully. Do the items you’re buying give back to a small business or charitable organization, or a multi-million-dollar corporation? Try to buy from organizations that support good, charitable causes—whether it’s helping endangered animals, supporting the homeless, or improving the living conditions of families in high-poverty areas.
Remember that not everyone has the luxury of a nice, homemade meal, a warm bed to sleep on, or the money to buy their children gifts. By helping these organizations, you’re not just getting what you need—you’re helping another family get what they need, too.
Support Your Community
Most presents are bought from well-known retailers like Target, Walmart, and Amazon. However, buying from local, family-owned businesses strengthens your local economy. It guarantees your hard-earning money is going to other members of your community, rather than being pocketed by rich executives. Don’t forget to support Native American business this holiday season, along with black-owned businesses. By doing so, you’re helping close substantial wealth gaps. African and Native Americans are more likely to experience extreme poverty, despite owning a large proportion of sole proprietorships. Even better? The more these businesses make, the more jobs they can create. This can improve your community’s economy by reducing unemployment rates.
Support freelancers, too. By purchasing their products, you’re showing them that their talents have value, and that their hard and tireless work is paying off. You can get hand-knitted blankets, a custom-made drawing, handmade soap, and more.
Improve Your Wellbeing
The importance of giving back during the holiday season is evident in the way it affects others—but what about how it affects you?
Volunteers report having better health, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction than non-volunteers. When you’re helping those in need, it’s easy to feel good about yourself. Volunteering stimulates feelings of euphoria and promotes the release of endorphins, which can give your self-esteem a much-needed boost.