How to give back during the holidays

How to give back during the holidays

While the holidays are a great time to give gifts and see family, it’s also a perfect time to reflect on our year’s blessings. But between writing holiday cards, shopping for gifts, balancing finances, and coordinating the big holiday meal, it’s easy to miss unique opportunities to give back to your community and those less fortunate.

So this year as you plan your holiday season, here are some easy, impactful ways to give back to those in need:

Give back by shopping local during the holidays

Shop locally

Shopping online may be simple, but if one or many businesses in your community have been negatively impacted this year, there’s never a better time to show your support by choosing to purchase handmade gifts for friends and family from local shops this holiday season. Local, especially handmade, gifts offer recipients a unique hometown feel, regardless of the season or reason you’ve gifted it. If you need some help finding just the right local gift, here’s a quick list of the Best Locally Made Gifts in Each of the 50 States.

Volunteer your talents during the holiday season

Volunteer your talents

For many of us, Monday through Friday we’re busy giving our talent and time to our employers. But during the holiday season, there may be other people and organizations who would be delighted to receive your expert help and support. You may even have additional skills that aren’t related to your workplace. 


  1. If you’re good with Adobe Photoshop, there may be charitable organizations who need help developing their next donation campaign marketing materials. 
  2. If you have an eye for photography, reach out to a local charity and offer to do a photo session at their next donation drive or silent auction.
  3. If you’re a pro in the kitchen, reach out to friends or family who would love a few home cooked meals.
  4. If you’re a construction or tradesperson, reach out to senior centers to see if you can help your aging community with handyman needs. 

Get involved

If you have plans to take some time off or your employer closes your company during the holiday season, there’s no better time to get involved with your favorite cause. 

It’s a proven fact: volunteering:

  1. Counteracts stress
  2. Combats depression
  3. Gives you an additional sense of purpose
  4. Increases your self-confidence and self-worth
  5. Increases your physical well-being
  6. Increases your knowledge and social skills

There are plenty of great ways to get involved:

  1. Attend events: Head out to one of your charities’ local donation drives in support of the cause. 
  2. Host a fundraiser: Invite family and friends to participate in something you’re passionate about. 
  3. Speak up: Share your cause socially online to spread the word. 
  4. Build a partnership: Reach out to local businesses to find out if they will honor discounts or donations for people who mention your cause when they purchase. 
  5. Use your hands: Donate your time and professional talent to your favorite charity with things like accounting, marketing, selling, project management, and more.

Ready to make a difference and give back during the holidays? Find a charity and cause that means the most to you here.

Donate financially during the holiday season

Make a financial donation

During the holidays, while many families are celebrating with gifts, food, and time off, there are many people who are working or are forced to go without. While we don’t always know the details of each financial situation, making a financial donation, no matter how big or small, can make all the difference in someone’s life when they need help the most. These (and many more) powerful charities organizations ensure the highest majority of donations continue to make a direct, positive impact:

  1. Midwest Food Bank
  2. No Kid Hungry
  3. Foster care to Success
  4. MAP International
  5. Meals on Wheels

Go through your closets

As a general rule, most of us like to purge our closets and clean house in the spring after a long winter. But during the holiday season, people who may lack the financial resources need immediate access to additional warm clothes, blankets, and other household items when the weather turns cold. By simply moving your spring cleaning schedule ahead a couple of months from April to November and December, your closet donations can be a lifesaving gift to a family who needs it most. Not sure where to start when looking to donate during the holidays? Read more here.

Pay it Forward

During the holidays or all year around, people are “paying it forward” by doing a great deed for someone they may not know. What’s even more important to mention, is that you don’t need millions of dollars to brighten someone’s day. Here are some easy examples of how to give back during the holidays as you pay it forward:

  1. Let someone go in front of you at the grocery store
  2. Ask for donations to your favorite charity vs. holiday gifts
  3. Buy the next person in line their cup of coffee
  4. Leave pennies and coupons for the next person in line at the store
  5. Leave a very generous tip for your server
  6. Buy your co-worker lunch
  7. Help a person carry or load their heavy groceries
  8. Help a stranger change their tire
  9. Let someone go ahead of you in traffic
  10. Hold the door open for someone who has their hands full
  11. Participate in a blood drive

While the holiday season doesn’t have to be the only time we find our generosity, the end of the year seems to motivate us to support one another in good will. At Redwood apartment rental home neighborhoods, we’re always looking to find new partnerships with the communities we serve and caring for those who help Redwood’s success possible. 

Learn more about Redwood Living and its people here.