By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern
One of the biggest ways we celebrate Christmas is engaging in the spirit of giving. Are you looking for some ideas of ways you can serve your community and give back? Here are 10 great ideas that are easy for kids and adults alike.
- Donate Clothes
Why wait for spring to do spring cleaning? If you have family coming over for the holidays you will most likely be doing some cleaning already. Have your family members go through their closets and pick out the clothes they don’t wear anymore that are in good condition, especially winter clothes. Gather them up and donate them by dropping them off at your local Goodwill or Deseret Industries, or donate by sending them to ThredUp by mail.
- Write Letters
Write to members of the military who are deployed through Operation Gratitude. Write to the elderly. Write to first responders. Write to essential workers. This one is a local project you can do. Here are some ideas of who you can write to: your family doctor, hospital doctors and nurses, postal workers, food delivery people, grocery store clerks, local farmers and ranchers, teachers, tutors, child care/babysitters, or internet providers. You can hand-deliver them or mail them to the address of their place of business. Write to the incarcerated. Write to those with cancer.
- Donate Toys
Do you have toys from when your kids were younger that are just sitting in storage? Take them out, wipe them down with Lysol wipes, and take them to Goodwill or Deseret Industries. Toys for Tots usually accepts gently used toys year round but double check on their website. Or if you want to purchase a toy for a child, that is also an option on their website.
- Purchase Christmas Presents That Give Back
Buy from small businesses or companies that give to those in need, such as TOMS, Pura Vida, Ivory Ella, Chewy, Gymboree, and many more. Learn more about how these brands give back here. You can find more brands just by doing a quick Google search.
- Donate food
You most likely have canned food that is still good for a few years that you haven’t used yet, and it’s just sitting in your pantry. Go through your kitchen and donate these to your local food pantry or soup kitchen.
- Volunteer For Nonprofits
Feed My Starving Children is one of my favorite nonprofits. It is located in Mesa, Arizona and feeds children facing food scarcity in third world countries. You can bring your family or a groups of friends (and of course, your masks) to help package rice and dried food blends to give these children all the nutrients they need to be nursed back to health and stay healthy.
- Donate Furniture
Whether its kids furniture that your children have outgrown or an extra bed or couch you have that you don’t need anymore, you can pack them up and take them to Goodwill or Deseret Industries to give them a new home with a family who needs it.
- Buy Toys For Someone From An Angel Tree
If you don’t know already, an angel tree is a Christmas tree with paper tags all over it. You can take one off and it will say what a child or person needs. It could be a turkey for Christmas dinner or a toy for a little one. You can find angel trees at malls, grocery stores, or churches. You can buy the product you take off the tree and put it in a bin next to the tree for collection and distribution to the anonymous person behind the tag.
- Donate Blood
Did you know there is a shortage of blood because of the pandemic? Here are some local places through Vitalant where you can donate to help save a life.
- Give a Christmas to Someone in Need
Do you know someone in your neighborhood, church congregation, or workplace that is need of some assistance this Christmas? Get to know them and their needs, then drop off presents, food, or other needed items on their doorstep; or, knock on the door and surprise them with a very merry Christmas they are sure to never forget.