Dec 13 2022

The top 10 ways to Inspire Hope during the holidays

holiday donations

The giving season is upon us. From making holiday donations to helping a neighbor decorate: Every small action makes a big difference.

The most wonderful time of the year tends to bring out the best in people. Families volunteer, neighbors connect, and many put differences aside. If you’re wondering how to bring more meaning to your season, these ideas are a great place to start.

10 simple-but-satisfying ways to Inspire Hope this holiday season

Volunteering, making holiday donations, and opening your home are just a few of many heart-warming acts:

1. Bake for the neighbors.

Holiday baking is a treat in and of itself. This year, extend your goodies list beyond friends and family to include your neighbors. Dropping off baked goods could give you the chance to catch up with neighbors you haven’t spoken to in a while—and finally meet the new ones you’ve been meaning to introduce yourself to.

2. Give gifts to teachers.

Teachers work tirelessly all year long, and the holidays are the perfect time to show your thanks. Give a Starbucks gift card in a coffee mug, custom stationery, or even a classroom sign. Don’t forget to include a handwritten note from your child expressing why they appreciate their teacher.

3. Have patience.

This one is a biggie, and it also happens to be completely free. The holidays are hectic when it comes to travel, dining out, and shopping. You can ease the stress on harried workers by waiting patiently, forgiving mistakes, and allowing yourself extra time at the airport or when shopping for holiday dinner.

4. Help out a neighbor.

If you have a neighbor who needs help shoveling, decorating, holiday shopping, or writing cards, offer to lend a hand. This is also a great opportunity to get the whole family involved. Even young kids can pitch in to decorate—and help take the decorations down once the holidays are over.

5. Invite friends to holiday dinner.

Do you know any friends, acquaintances, or co-workers who live far from family? If they aren’t traveling home, invite them over for appetizers or dinner. Alternately, if friends who don’t have anywhere to go decline your invitation, consider making extra holiday food, freezing the leftovers, and dropping it off to them the next day.

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6. Leave a glowing review.

Posting a positive review can have a big impact on small businesses. If you had a great experience with a local boutique, meat market, or restaurant, make it official by leaving a five-star review with as much detail as possible. A good review costs you nothing and does wonders in boosting the visibility of a local business.

7. Look for giving trees.

What’s a giving tree? You might find one displayed in a department store, grocery store, school, or community center. A giving tree is typically decorated with wish lists from kids in the area. Pick a wish list hanging from the tree, purchase the gift, and return it to the organization that set up the tree.

8. Shop with a purpose.

Put your money to good use by buying from brands that are either local, sustainable, support a cause, or pledge a matching contribution. For example, some philanthropic brands donate a portion of their profits, while others have a “buy one give one” policy for every garment purchased. Holiday donations in someone’s name also make thoughtful gifts.

9. Spend time at a nursing home.

Since most residents at nursing homes and assisted living facilities are socially isolated, an afternoon visit can be worth its weight in gold. For the residents, this social interaction can help to improve their quality of life. And for the visitor, volunteering may offer physical and mental health benefits. You can search for a local organization that manages senior helpers or reach out to a nursing home to ask about their policies.

10. Volunteer.

Other holiday-specific volunteer opportunities may include serving meals at a food bank or participating in a local Toys for Tots drive. If you don’t have the time to volunteer in person, you could sponsor a family instead. Many local organizations have holiday “adopt a family” programs, matching you with another family in need of basic necessities and/or gifts.

We’re here to Inspire Hope, Deliver Dreams, and Build Prosperity

Whether it’s becoming a first-time homeowner at the age of 64 after surviving a deadly case of COVID or selling a starter home to find your forever place: Academy Loan Officers have a track record of making our customers’ dreams possible. Connect with a local Loan Officer for guidance.

This is for informational and educational purposes only and not intended as an advertisement as defined by Regulation Z. Please consult a trusted professional as personal circumstances may vary. No specific results are guaranteed. MAC923-1483190.