The Holidays are supposed to be the best time of the year full of joy and love, but unfortunately for many that isn’t the case. Small donations can make a huge difference for those in need, whether money, toys, food or even your time. Here are a few ways we can contribute to our locals in need

 

Host an office donation drive.

Call local shelters and donation centers and ask what they are most in need of. Next figure out the logistics of where to set donation bins- best place is a high traffic area. Rally up all the coworkers to bring in one to two small or large gifts, they don’t need to be new but in decent condition.

Host a soldier care package making party.

Being away from loved ones during the Holidays can make serving our country even harder then the courageous act already is. Let a soldier know they are not alone and have your support by hosting a fun package making party. Invite over co-workers, friends, neighbors and family members and bond over supporting a cause bigger then yourself.  Check out www.operationcarepackages.org/Christmas for drop off places and the items most needed.

Don’t forget about our Veterans either! Show them some love, you can send holiday cards to military members through a local American Red Cross chapter that participates in the Holidays for Heroes program.

Adopt a family

Have a grown family? Skip buying gifts for each other and check out the Salvation Army program that lets you “adopt” another family and make their Christmas just a little brighter.  The Rocky Mount Salvation Army has a Christmas Angel Tree program in which “Assists families in need with gifts (toys, clothing, shoes, etc) children ages newborn to 16.” https://www.salvationarmycarolinas.org/rockymount/programs

Donate food

 Whatever you have on hand, canned food, or buy meals and bring them to the homeless shelter. A full stomach is a more meaningful gift then materialistic items.  Food banks are in need of non-perishable items, whole grains and canned meats. Ask around for donations and clean out your cupboards at the same time! The smiles you bring are worth whatever cost.

 

Put together gift baskets & clean out your closets

Like the soldier care packages, get together with friends and make simple essential item packages. There are plenty of ideas online about what is need such as; toothpaste, socks, granola bars, gum, scarves, mittens. Donate any extra coats or clothing you haven’t worn in a year or so, an easy way to let go of all that clutter.

 

Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots is a program made by the U.S Marines that receives donations and gives unused, unwrapped toys to children in need.  Get your own child involved by going to pick out toys for another kid, teach them the value of giving while spending bonding time.

 

 

Give a lending hand

Don’t have any extra to give out this season? Don’t stress, time is just as valuable as gifts. Volunteer at the local Soup Kitchen, homeless center, and Salvation Army.

Don't forget our furry friends!

 Volunteer or drop off extra blankets at the local shelter and make a puppies Christmas a little easier.