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As the holiday season approaches, you may be thinking about the different ways you can do a little something extra for those in need. While opening your checkbook to local charities is a great option for many people, there are many unique ways you can make a difference this year. Whether you’re looking for ideas to give back personally or for your company, there are various meaningful avenues you can take during the holiday season. 

Donate School Supplies

December marks the halfway point for many schools, and those supplies students started off the year with may begin to dwindle. Consider creating school supply kits for your local school or a family who is currently navigating homeschooling for their children. For most families, virtual learning and homeschooling during the pandemic have been a challenging situation to endure. Easing their burden with helpful learning tools can be a nice gesture and make all the difference to them. 

Donate a Holiday Meal

Contact your local church or community center to see if a holiday meal is being planned. Ask if you can donate a portion of the meal for the group, such as providing all the hams or turkeys that will be needed to host the event. You can either write a check to cover the cost, or you can hand-deliver the items to the organization a few days before the holiday meal is set to occur.

Pass Out Toys

Work with your local hospital to arrange a toy giveaway on Thanksgiving or Christmas. You can pass out gifts to the children who are unable to go home for the holiday, which adds just a bit of cheer to their hospital stay. You should confirm the number of children expected to be in the hospital the day before to ensure you have enough items to donate, and plan on purchasing a few extra just in case there are more children than you expected.

Pay It Forward 

You can also simply make someone’s day by paying for their holiday purchases. Visit your local grocery or department store and purchase a few gift cards to share with families in need within your community. Offer to pay for the person behind you in line, or fulfill a family’s wish list from your local church or community center.

With a little bit of creativity, you can make holiday giving fun and unique. Use these ideas as inspiration to start a brand new charitable giving tradition in your family or within your company.