Give Back this Holiday Season

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

By: Ashmar Mandou

The Holidays are a time for giving and giving back to your community can be a rewarding feeling, especially in a time when consumption overshadows the act of giving. Below are five charitable activities that can bring your community closer this year.

Send holiday cards to active-duty military and veterans. Members of the military sacrifice for our country. Sending festive holiday cards is one way to show that we appreciate all that they do. Plus, it’s a thoughtful way to give back that’s low-cost. You can send holiday cards to military members through a local American Red Cross chapter that participates in the Holidays for Heroes program.

Collect donations for a food bank. Food banks distribute food to families and various organizations that serve people in need. A charitable activity that your family and friends can rally around is collecting items from the community for a local food bank. You can facilitate your own food drive or gather cash and food donations to contribute to a food drive run by another organization.

Volunteer at a shelter. If you don’t have cash to spare for donations, you can donate your time, which is just as valuable. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or women and children’s shelters in food prep or meal service. Visiting a shelter to meet the people you serve one-on-one can be a gratifying experience for the entire family.

Donate used clothes and coats. If your family has gently used clothes, sheets or other textiles, give them to Goodwill or put them in a drop-off bin. Make sure the drop-off bin you use accepts donations for charitable purposes. Otherwise, you could put items in a bin that will go to a for-profit group.

Assemble a group of friends to sponsor a family. Another way to give back is sponsoring or adopting one family for the holiday. Local religious and charitable groups will gather personal information from families who need sponsorship, including their clothing sizes and holiday wishlists. Then you can choose one of the families to sponsor.

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