Ways to Give Back During the Christmas Season!

Ellie Michaels '22

Christmas is a time of giving, and there are so many different ways to give back to friends, family, and those in need! Wondering how you can spread the holiday spirit? The following are 10 easy ways that you can give back this Christmas season:


1) Donate a Toy! – We all love opening up our presents on Christmas morning, but for some families it is hard to afford presents for the holidays. By donating a toy, you can help make a child’s Christmas that much brighter! Some organizations that collect toy donations include Toys for Tots, Children’s Hospital LA, 1736 Family Crisis Center, and the LA County Fire Department. You can also check if your local parish has a toy collection program, and keep your eye out for donation bins at stores and offices. To find out more information about donating a toy, you can visit  www.toysfortots.org,  www.fire.lacounty.gov/get-holiday-spirit-spark-love-toy-drive,  www.chla.org/donate-toys,  or www.1736familycrisiscenter.org/holiday-stores.html.


2) Help the Homeless! – The holidays can be a difficult time for those who live on the streets, and they can often feel isolated and alone. One thing that you can do to make their season more merry is making holiday care packages for them. Some things they need the most are supplies like packaged/canned food and snacks, water bottles, socks, and travel-size hygienic products like toothbrushes and toothpaste. In your packages, you can also leave them a note wishing them a Merry Christmas! For more information about how to get involved with the homeless, you can also talk to Ms. Fabbri in room 111.


3) Visit a Nursing Home! – Some residents in nursing homes don’t get to visit their families that often, and especially around the holidays, it can be hard for them to get into the Christmas spirit. Paying them a visit can really make their Christmas special! When you visit, you can bring Christmas cards and decorations to make the rooms more festive. Make sure to call the nursing home before to schedule a time when you can come in!


4) Help Animals in Need! – Are you an animal lover? I thought so. There are so many ways to give back to our furry friends during the holidays! This holiday season, you can help animals by volunteering at a local animal shelter, donating necessities like towels and toys, or making a small cash donation to an animal welfare organization like the ASPCA.


5) Adopt-a-Family! – Want to help other families in need? You and your family can participate in the Adopt-a-Family program! To find out more information, go to dpss.lacounty.gov and search Adopt-a-Family.  


6) Clean out your Closet! – Let’s be honest, we all have old toys and clothes stuffed into the deepest corners of our closet. If you would would like to donate any gently used clothes, toys, or household items this Christmas, you can drop them off at your local Goodwill or Salvation Army store, and the money will go to helping those in need! For more information about donating your clothes and items, you can visit www.locator.goodwill.org or www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/ways-to-give/.


7) Do a random act of kindness! – Whether it is making dinner, helping with a chore, or baking cookies for your next door neighbor, random acts are a great way to give back to those you love. They may seem small, but a random act of kindness can really make someone’s day!


8) Volunteer at your local church or organization! – Especially around the holidays, there are so many ways to get involved at local churches and other local organizations. If you want to volunteer, you can check your parish website for opportunities to give back!


9) Make a gift or a card for a family member, neighbor, or friend! – Making homemade cards and gifts is a really special way that you can brighten up the Christmas season.


And finally…

10) Smile! – A genuine smile is the best gift you could ever give!