For most of us, Christmas conjures anticipation and joy for the celebration to come but that isn’t true for everyone. While some may spend the season in a frenzy of shopping, baking, and gift wrapping others are wondering where their next meal will come from or how to provide even basic necessities for their children.
If you’d like to be a part of helping others for Christmas we’ve put together a few ideas to get you started.
1. Donate to local organizations
If you have gently used clothes, toys, or household items, donating to a local organization may be a good place to start. Keep in mind that sometimes donations can be more of a burden than a blessing if they aren’t truly usable items. It’s always best to give them a call ahead of time and inquire about what they are currently accepting. In all cases, be sure that the items are in good repair and clean. You can find an entire list of local organizations that may accept donations here.
2. Choose an Angel Tree Child or fill a box for Operation Christmas
If you’d like to make a difference for a local child, the Salvation Army Angel Tree program is a great place to start. By choosing a child’s list from the tree and providing those needs and gifts you’ll have the opportunity to brighten the life of a child and a family right in your community. We’ll have an Angel Tree located in the lobby of The Learning Station to make this easy for you.
Operation Christmas Child is a program that enables you to provide a Christmas gift box for a child overseas. The smallest of gifts can bring the greatest joy to a child who may never have received one before! You can pick up boxes at many local churches, including NewSpring Myrtle Beach, or order free supplies from the website in the link above.
3. Provide Christmas for a local family
To make an incredible impact this Christmas consider sponsoring Christmas for a family by reaching out to friends or on social media to find a family in need. Many times, there’s a need that’s been expressed and it goes unnoticed because we’re not asking the right questions. If you begin to reach out and ask others to refer you to a family in need it’s very likely that you’ll find someone. If this still sounds like the best fit for you but you are uncomfortable in asking on social media, etc. you can call local churches that will happily provide you with a list of families they know to be in need.
4. Blessing Bags
You can learn more about Blessing Bags here but the concept is simple! It’s a great way to get your kids involved and teach them about giving to others. Once your bags are created, keep them in your car to pass out as needed. A warm pair of socks and toothpaste can go a long way for someone in need.
5. Teaching your children gratitude and empathy
Having our children take part in helping others is one way to teach empathy and kindness but if you’re wondering how to take that one step further consider adjusting how you give gifts in your own home. Many families become overwhelmed in the hustle and bustle of granting every wish on their child’s Christmas list but what if it didn’t need to be that way? Some families are switching it up and limiting the number of gifts they give or choosing a family trip instead. You can learn more about why a local family chooses to only give three gifts at Christmas here.
No matter what avenue you take to help others this season know that even the smallest of blessings can make a huge impact. Kindness and gratitude starts at our very own doorstep and the saying is true “tis better to give than receive”!