Winter is coming, and that means that the holidays are on their way. It’s the perfect time to feel the holiday spirit and try to help your fellow man. There are a lot of different ways to do that, so it’s easy to find something that can make a difference for a small part of the world that anyone can handle.
The Red Cross always needs blood donations, but the need increases during times when people are more likely to be injured. People travel a lot around the holidays, which means there are more accidents and thus more injuries, so blood banks can run into trouble during the holidays. Blood also spoils quickly, so you can be sure that your donation is needed, especially if you have a rare blood type. Donating blood is quick, easy, and free, so it’s a great option for people who are interested in giving back to others without going to too much trouble.
The best way to donate blood is to schedule a visit to a local blood drive. Most blood drives will advertise for several days before the event, so it’s relatively easy to find one. The Red Cross can also help you to find the nearest blood drive if there aren’t any local advertisements. If there aren’t any blood drives to attend, consider organizing one of your own. It takes more work, but blood can save lives, so it’s certainly worth the effort.
Volunteering as a Tutor
Education is one of the keys to building a better life, but sometimes getting an education is easier said than done. Volunteering your time as a tutor can give the gift of knowledge to someone in need, and that gift can pay dividends for years to come. There are several ways to do this, so most people can find some way to help.
Literacy is one of the most important skills because it enables people to learn other things, but some people have trouble with it. Children need to practice reading if they’re going to get good at it, but they don’t always get that chance at home. Providing it is a great way to give back to the community. Simply handing out simple books and giving children the chance to read to you as you fix their mistakes can be a big help. Reading to them is also useful, and almost any adult can do it.
Older students often need help with specific subjects. Helping them requires more specialized knowledge, but you can still do it if you understand the subject. Adults with specialized skills, like woodworking, can also take the chance to pass those on. They aren’t always taught in school, but they’re still useful.
The best way to get involved through tutoring is to contact a local school and ask if they need help with any of their clubs or programs. Libraries are also a good choice, especially for people who want to help with literacy issues. Even if they don’t need volunteers themselves, they can usually point you towards a program that does.
Cook a Feast
Most holidays involve big meals with big groups of people. If you’re filled with the holiday spirit and want to give back in a way that fits the season, you can’t go wrong by contributing to a meal for the community.
These community meals help to solve several different problems at the same time. At a basic level, they can help to fight hunger in the community. They can also spread some holiday joy to people who aren’t able to afford the traditional meal on their own. One meal may not seem like much, but it can make a big difference to people who are on the verge of poverty.
Community feasts also offer a hidden benefit. It isn’t much fun to be alone for the holidays, but it happens to a surprising number of people. These events give those individuals a chance to come together with other people for the holidays that would otherwise be denied to them. That’s a powerful gesture, and it can make the holidays much brighter.
Remember the Essentials
In the end, the holidays are a time to give back to the community. Even a small effort can make a big difference, so there’s no reason not to do something to help others. As long as you remember the golden rule when you volunteer, it’s hard to go wrong.
image credits: http://kut.org/term/thanksgiving, https://dougmatlock.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/i-hate-giving-blood-but/, http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/haveamagnificentday/2011/12/holiday-spirit-the-spirit-of-giving.html