With the increasing demand of local associations seeking assistance, as well as an increase in charitable organizations popping up worldwide, many local charities are seeing a decline in cash contributions when compared to previous years.
“Canadian charitable organizations could be left vulnerable in the near future due to a demographic shift of younger Canadians donating less.“
Today’s higher cost of living could be the main reason for this decline, although younger Canadians are more apt to volunteer their time instead of giving cash.
“The greatest gift you can give someone is your time.”
The good news is that even if you aren’t a millionaire or epic philanthropist, you can make a lasting difference in the lives of those around you this holiday season. Giving your time to others truly is the greatest gift with the greatest reward — it’s something that costs little but creates memories and ripple effects to last a lifetime.
Here are some simple ways to bring more meaning to your Christmas and to the lives of others.
GIVE THE GIFT OF TIME
Spend time with an elderly family member or neighbour, or volunteer at an old age home. You can also serve up hot food and a warm smile at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen over the holidays.
DONATE TO CLOTHING DRIVES
Collect donations of winter coats, hats, mitts and boots from your friends and family and drop off at your local Salvation Army, thrift store or clothing drive. Winter apparel is often free of charge to those in need. In our local area, there is a shortage of men’s winter coats size XL and toddler/kids snowsuits so those would be great items to donate if you can.
It’s great to support food banks year-round. When cold weather hits, you only have to visit your local schools, government agencies, car dealerships or grocery stores to find a non-perishable food drive taking place nearest you. Simply add a few extra cans of tuna, soup or peanut butter to your shopping cart and donate to those in need.
If you’re famous for your homemade double-stuffed brownies, holiday sugar cookies, or a special savoury dish, why not make a double batch next time and donate the extras to someone in need? Or your family could invite someone in out of the cold for a home-cooked meal to share.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
Grab an extra coffee on your morning run and deliver it to a small business owner close to your destination.