Youthview: Giving Back At the Holidays

Allison Ervin, Youthview blogger, and granddaughter of Lehman's founder, Jay Lehman.

Allison Ervin, Youthview blogger, and granddaughter of Lehman’s founder, Jay Lehman.

The holidays are a time for giving back, and there are tons of fun and creative ways to be generous during the Christmas season.

It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to make someone’s Christmas a lot better. My family and I like to fill a shoe box with things that we think kids would like, and then wrap it up in cute wrapping paper and donate it.

With all the sweets we enjoy over the season, it’s easy to forget that some folks may be going hungry. Volunteering at a local soup kitchen is very rewarding. Bringing homemade cookies or any baked good to a local nursing home will make everyone: you and the residents and staff, smile.

Soapmaking kit

Make your own soaps, and know they’re pure and safe. Great for gift packs.

Having a get-together with friends and family where everyone bring small travel-sized necessities like shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and bar soap are popped into pairs of socks and tied up with cute ribbons and bows and then donated is fun to do, and supplies folks in need with vital items.

If you feel like over the years you accumulated too many Christmas decorations to count, donating them to a fundraiser or agency that can use them for fundraising helps people in need and you.

Next time you order food or pick up a few groceries, consider paying for the person behind you too. It will make their day, guaranteed.

Adopting a needy family and providing them with small gifts, either homemade or store-bought, and including some holiday foods makes everyone’s Christmas a bit cheerier.

blanket stitch start ornamentDonating a Christmas tree to an underprivileged family is a great way to give back, and you can add a creative touch by hand-making ornaments to go with it.

Keep a change jar year-round, and at Christmas, donate the money to a charity organization. You’d be surprised at how quickly it adds up.

Not sure where to donate? Some great organizations that help donate money, food, presents and more are Operation Christmas Child, the Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, Meals and Wheels. There are many more too. I hope you can find a fun way to give back, and remember what Christmas is all about this year.