How to Give Back During the Holiday Season

Volunteers sorting clothing for the holidays

The holiday season is a time of giving. Yet, it can often be difficult to determine just how to give back to others during this time of year – especially if you can’t physically be near others.

Though it may not seem like it, a simple donation or act of kindness can make a world of difference for those who are in need. This holiday season, consider taking part in these charitable activities.

Bake holiday cookies and prepare meals for the hungry

Everyone loves a warm plate of holiday cookies, and one of the simplest acts of generosity you can perform is baking cookies for others.

You can deliver baked goods to your neighbors, law enforcement office or your local shelter. Of course, hungry families need more than cookies to eat. Consider preparing meals for families in need. Check with local food pantries or soup kitchens to see how you can help – check out the links below to help you get started:

• West Ohio Food Bank

• Needy Basket of Southern Miami County

• Mercy Unlimited Food Pantry

• Agape Ministries, Inc.

Write a holiday card for soldiers stationed overseas

Unfortunately, not everyone can make it home for the holidays. Soldiers stationed overseas are separated from their families during this time of the year.

As such, they could use some festive encouragement. Spread a little yuletide cheer by sending them a holiday card with a thoughtful message, or shipping a care package.

Read our own associates’ stories of their time in the military >>

Support a nursing home

Loneliness during the holidays isn’t exclusive to soldiers stationed overseas. Many elderly individuals at nursing homes go through the holiday season without receiving any visitors – especially this year.

You can help brighten their day in a creative way, even if you can’t visit in person. Contact a local nursing home or assisted living community to see if you can send cards, letters or care packages. If a loved one lives in a nursing home or assisted living, spend a little extra time giving them a phone or video call – they’ll appreciate it.

Here’s a list of some local nursing homes you could reach out to in your area:

• Wapakoneta Manor

• Otterbein SeniorLife St. Marys

• Otterbein SeniorLife Cridersville

• Vancrest of St. Marys

• Elmwood Assisted Living of New Bremen

• Odem at Auglaize

• Shelby Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation

• Brookdale Troy

• Crossroads Rehabilitation & Nursing

Volunteer at an animal shelter

Four-legged friends need companionship during the holidays, too. Many dogs and cats are housed in shelters, especially right around the holidays.

You can do your part to help look after the animals housed there by volunteering by donating food or other supplies. You can even foster a pet until it’s ready to move to a new home. Check out the list below for some local animal shelters in your area:

• Auglaize County Humane Society

• Shelby County Animal Shelter

• Shelby County Animal Rescue Foundation

• Miami County Animal Shelter

• Montgomery County Animal Resource Center

Donate used toys, gadgets and clothing

Each year, people receive a mountain of new gifts during the holidays. Many of the gifts they received last year are often put aside or stored away.

Instead of letting those old toys and gadgets collect dust, consider donating them to a local shelter or charity. Many people can make use of items that you longer use. This is especially true if your own little ones have grown tired of their toys. After all, nothing brings a smile to a child’s face during the holidays like a thoughtful present.

Clothing, especially warm winter gear like coats and hats, is also especially needed this time of year. Find a local shelter or charity with a warm-clothing drive and clean out your closet. Here are some local charities to consider donating to:

• Goodwill Wapakoneta

• Mercy Unlimited

• Agape Ministries, Inc.

• Salvation Army Piqua

• Troy Community Thrift Store

• Goodwill Sidney

Give back to your community this holiday season

This holiday season, spread some joy to the world around you by giving back to your community and sharing the love of the season.

If you’re looking for a way to grow and protect your wealth in the new year, the professionals at Minster Bank will help you reach your financial goals with a wide array of financial tools, including a variety of calculators to help you get started.

Check out some of our financial tools >>

This blog was updated on Dec. 16, 2021.

Published by Minster Bank

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