P lease note: The content of this article was accurate on the day of publication. For the most up-to-date information and recommendations regarding COVID-19, visit the CDC website.
We’ve had to accept a lot of change in 2020. From social distancing to virtual learning and every toilet paper-shaped struggle in between, the year has looked different from any other in history. But there are some things that should never change. The giving spirit of the holiday season is something that needs to endure, despite this year’s Grinch-y headlines.
Undoubtedly, giving will look different. Hugs will be replaced with a distanced wave. Caroling will be virtual. Masks will cover our loving smiles. But the spirit of togetherness will be just as strong as ever. There is still a lot we can do to give in ways we may never have considered before.
1. Donate Blood
Giving blood is just as important as ever and giving safely is a priority for the American Red Cross, Vitalant and other blood donation centers. In addition to working by appointment, they have implemented several other precautions to keep you safe. Help avoid blood shortages by scheduling a donation for you and your family.
2. Host a Virtual Toy Drive
Toy drives are a safe way to give while distancing. Today’s ecommerce landscape allows you to satisfy your shopping addiction while making the holidays extra special for a family in need. You can host a virtual drive by creating an Amazon wish list and sharing it among your friends.
3. Write Letters to Seniors
Visiting seniors has been difficult in 2020. They are among the most at-risk members of society, which has unfortunately left many seniors feeling isolated. Sending letters to seniors is a great way to reach out and show them that you care. You and your kids can brighten a day by coordinating with a local care facility to deliver your letters.
4. Make a Meal for a Family in Need
This is a hectic time of year. Even with in-person shopping restricted, there is plenty to fill the holiday hours. Help ease somebody’s burden by making them dinner. Whether you feed one family or a dozen, a hot meal is one of the best gifts you can give. While there is no evidence that the virus spreads to people through food, it is important to remember food safety and safe food handling.
5. Start a Family Fundraiser with Your Kids
Give your kids a way to give back by raising money with them. Start by choosing a goal that everyone agrees on, like buying gifts for sick children or sponsoring a family in need. Then make a menu of simple chores that your kids can do to raise money. The more chores they complete, the closer they will be to their fundraising goal. Match their earnings to show your commitment and appreciation. Giving can be a life-changing moment for children and that moment will mean even more when they’ve worked for it.
6. Safely Volunteer with Charitable Organizations
Charity can’t be stopped. Organizations like St. Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army have adjusted the way they work to make sure that they are able to provide the critical services that their audience depends on. Learn about how groups have adjusted to embrace the latest safety norms and get involved.
7. Do a Secret Kindness
Anonymity is a rare thing these days. Especially for children growing up in the age of social media, giving without recognition can be very important. Work with your kids to identify a few people that they would like to support. You can drop off a gift or kind note on their doorstep. You might bake their favorite brownies and leave them on their doorstep. It could even be as simple as paying for the coffee of the person behind you in the drive-thru lane. Get creative if you like and remember that the most important thing is that the other person’s day be brighter.
Sharing what we have with others isn’t about how much we give; it’s about how much we share. No matter the size or shape of your donation, you can make a difference in someone’s life. Show your spirit of generosity and feel the positivity of the season with safe giving opportunities. What are you doing to give this holiday season?