Giving Back to Those Not Necessarily on Your Christmas List
As we rush to find the "perfect gift" for friends and family, we tend to get tunnel vision about the holiday season. No matter how tight our budgets or shopping time may be, remember still there are some people who would be thrilled to be in our shoes, amongst the chaos of family, friends, and festivities. Those without families, homes, money, or good health are not expecting much from the holiday season but you and your family can give them an everlasting gift — one you'll likely remember forever yet pay nothing much to give. There are many ways you can help or find money for charity. Here are some ideas to give this holiday season. (See also: Surprisingly Easy Ways You Can Support Charity)
Holiday Mail for Heroes
Sponsored by the Red Cross, Holiday Mail for Heroes allows the public to send holiday greetings and thanks to soldiers and veterans. Cards must be received by December 7, 2009. This is a great way to spread some gratitude and holiday cheer to those who may not have their families nearby to celebrate.
Cards That Give
When shopping for Christmas and holiday cards, check out Cards That Give, a website that combines the efforts of over 100 non-profit organizations who create and sell greeting cards for all occasions. Each purchases helps support the groups, which include humane societies and children's hospitals. Many of the organizations also create all-occasion cards so shopping and helping a good cause all year around is possible.
Welcome Back Veterans
Welcome Back Veterans will help you find information about sending greeting cards and thanks to veterans who have served our country. Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday season is an excellent time to drop a note to someone who has made our country safer and allowed us the freedom to celebrate wonderful things.
Holiday Project supports people in nursing homes, prisons and hospitals by visiting those who are confined during the holiday season. They are looking for visiting volunteers, help with wrapping gifts, and people interested in donating needed goods and money.
Volunteer Match is a one-stop shop for finding volunteering opportunities in your area. Simply plug in your zip code and the system will link you to the volunteer openings close to where you live. This is a great site to use all year around and you get a great overview of how your talents and skills can be useful in supporting others who are less fortunate than you.