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Giving Back This Holiday Season

December 21, 2011

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Don’t be a Scrooge this holiday season, as there are lots of opportunities to serve in your local community. Much like the Thanksgiving Holidays, lots of organizations will need power in numbers, in terms of providing services to those in need.

So bundle up, and don your gay apparel as we go through 5 ways you can serve as an individual, with your family, or as a local chapter, this holiday season:

  • Volunteer at Local Food Bank

The winter holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for your local food bank. They will need help anywhere from collecting and sorting donations, to delivering foods, to answering calls on their helplines. Lots of households will need to be alleviated of hunger, so contact your local food bank and pantry to see where you can offer your skills.

  • Delivering meals to seniors and homebound patients

Along the lines of hunger alleviation, people who are homebound also experience loneliness during these cold winter months. Nutrition is key in promoting overall health and wellbeing and programs like Meals on Wheels, work to fight against neglect and malnutrition in senior citizens. Volunteer with them and similar programs all year round to help with at home visitations, food deliveries, small in home repair work, errand runs, etc.

  • Adopt a Family/Child

At Points of Light, our Development Team adopted a local Atlanta family through Families First, providing and wrapping gifts for a small family of 4.

For some families this year, the holidays can be a difficult time, as budgets are tight and even achieving basic needs can be a challenge. Through faith based organizations and local community groups, Alums can adopt a family to help provide them with gifts for the parents and children, making it a truly happy and fulfilling holiday for others. You’ll be provided a list of needs from the family, so you can add their items to your Holiday shopping list. Consider adopting a family as a chapter!

  • Supporting Military Families

The NY-Based generationOn team served as an office with 4th and 5th graders to provide cookies and cards for a USO center in Illinois.

Our great men and women serving in the military all over the world won’t get the chance to spend the holidays with their loved ones. As Alums of National Service, we definitely support our troops who committed to protecting all of us here stateside, so this holiday season, there are many ways you can help a soldier feel at home.

USO, a nonprofit that lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families, has great opportunities for you to show your gratitude to our troops. This year, the USO Wishbook provides a list of the top requested gifts by troops and their families and ways for you to show your generosity, including purchasing a “Phone Call Home” package and providing Bed Time Stories for their children.

  • Collection donations at Holiday Parties

If you’re hosting a holiday party this season, hold a toy or winter supply drive for your guests. Any individual, business or organization can hold a collection drive and organizations, like Toys for Tots, have local collection centers that will make it easy for you to drop off your donations. According to Salvation Army, a winter item that is in high demand every year for the winter months are socks, so bring a pair to your next holiday drive party!

How will you be serving this holiday season?

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