10 Creative Ways To Give Back This Holiday Season

I watched the documentary Inocente this weekend and was inspired by her resilience, spirit, and the positive impact A Reason to Survive (A.R.T.S) had on her life.

Here is the Trailer:

It made me reflect on how much I have to be thankful for this holiday season and led me to brainstorm creative ways that I could give back. There are a ton of great organizations and opportunities to volunteer in DC. Feel free to comment and share your own. 🙂

1) Craft for a Cause
Put your Pinterest envy to work. Make one of those beautiful projects for someone in need. From homemade soap to cat toys, handmade jewelry to crocheted blankets, there is literally a project and corresponding organization for everything. So get your craft on! You know you want to 🙂

2) Take Advantage of Buy One Get One Deals
CVS is the king of buy one get one offers. Take advantage of these deals and see how many food/toiletry items you can amass by the end of the month. Then donate those goodies to a local shelter/organization in need.

3) Volunteer Your Skills
I always find this to be the best way to give back because you’re often passionate about the things you do well. I personally don’t enjoy furniture construction (I only like Ikea for their meatballs and atmosphere), but I know a lot of awesome people who love it! Take good pictures? Volunteer to be the photographer at a retirement community Christmas party. Tell good jokes? Find ways to take your act on the road. You can find a lot of great ways to use your skills on Volunteer Match.

4) 25 Acts of Kindness
Studies show that you get a giver’s high from helping or giving to someone else. Why not get that 25 times? You can come up with your own acts of kindness or participate in The Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar.

5) Start A Change Jar
Grab a jar and see how much change you accumulate by the end of the month. Donate the change and/or make it a New Years Resolution to collect/donate that much every month.

6) Dress Up and Be a Party
In the words of Kid President, be a party. Put your improv skills to work and find fun ways to make others smile this holiday season. My friend Alicia told me about Santarchy Washington, DC 2013 and I can’t wait to join the fun. Find a way to be a party!

7) Start a Tradition
Growing up my sister’s kindergarten teacher made a box of homemade desserts for us every year. I looked forward to it every year! They were seriously the best holiday treats ever. If you like to cook, start a baking/cooking tradition. People will most definitely appreciate it!

8) Participate in HR Matching Programs
A lot of companies have matching gift programs. Contact your HR department to see if they participate in a holiday giving program.

9) Support Small Businesses
Buy gifts that support small businesses. Pick up a stocking stuffer at a holiday craft show or stop by your local farmers market to purchase fruits, veggies, or baked goods for your holiday feast.

10) Attend Holiday Events
There are a ton of holiday events in the DC area and most have a cause associated with it. There might even be ways to volunteer. Have fun and give back at the same time.

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