Winter break is here (or almost here)! Which means holidays, family and best of all — no school. So what should you do with all that free time? We’ve gathered up a list of ways you can give back to others while you’re off, and hopefully spread some of that good cheer a little farther.
It’s getting cold outside, and there are many people who can’t afford a good winter coat. One Warm Coat connects you to coat donation centers all over the country where you can drop off your gently-used winter coats, which will then go out to families in need. If you can’t find one in your area, they also provide lots of resources and advice on how to start your own coat drive.
Due to the Syrian refugee crisis, there are thousands of young children going without adequate winter clothing this year. DoSomething.org has partnered with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Karam Foundation to start Bake Sales for Babies, an easy way to get involved. When you sign up, you’ll get lots of resources and recipes for traditional Syrian cookies, which can then be sold to raise money for the kids in need. You’ll also be entered to win a $3,000 scholarship!
If you’re looking for a creative project to do over the break, why not make a blanket? If you have some knitting or sewing skills, Project Linus collects quality, home-made blankets for kids. They specifically request hand-made blankets, because of the care and love that goes into each one. Visit their website to find patterns and a chapter near you.
Every year, DoSomething.org creates the “Celebs Gone Good” list to celebrate celebrities who are using their fame to give back. This year, you can vote to choose who gets the honor of being a “Celeb Gone Good.” Voting ends on December 24th, so make sure you check-in to see if your favorite celeb is on the list and cast your vote!
Round up your family for some holiday-time charity with Family-to-Family. This organization helps match up families who are able to give with families who don’t have much via various donation and charity campaigns. Their initiatives for this holiday season include a toy drive, stuffing a stocking and donating gently used books to someone in need.
Toys for Tots is probably one of the best known toy drives in the country, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t use help. Operating such a large drive requires a lot of gifts and a lot of volunteers, especially as it gets closer to Christmas. If you’d like to go beyond just donating a toy, you can also host a Toys for Tots fundraiser, or see if your local chapter needs volunteers.
Volunteer at a Food Pantry
Volunteering at a food pantry or soup kitchen is a great way to give back to your community during the holidays. Many pantries and kitchens will be working overtime to distribute food to those in need, and they will definitely need help. Check FoodPantries.org or simply type in “soup kitchen” and your location into Google to find out where you can help serve up some much needed meals.