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Spread holiday cheer

The holiday season is so much more than just giving and receiving presents. For many people in your community, the greatest gift of all could be you sharing just a bit of your time. Whether you prefer to volunteer alone, or you’re more the type to rally the troops, here are a few ways to bring a little more holiday cheer to the community you hold dear.

Make some music.

You could download some free sheet music, then organize a community or neighborhood holiday caroling event and accept donations for an agreed-upon charity. If you’re a musician, you could find others and host a small fundraising holiday concert, or simply find a comfy place to play in public and create the good all around you.

Be a one-man (or woman) tree farm.

If you know someone who usually puts up a fresh tree or wreath during the holidays, but may be less mobile than in years before, you could offer to escort them to a local tree farm, or bring one that you’ve already chosen, then set it up, take it down, decorate it, haul it away or all of the above. You can also help your neighbors put up or take down their holiday lights. Post your holiday service online or in your local paper, and accept donations which in turn you can donate to charity. And while you’re helping out, help them ensure their home is set up to weather a winter storm.

Make it about the kids.

With the Be An Elf program, you can “adopt real letters to Santa written by underprivileged kids, take home one or more that move you, and send your gifts directly to the children who wrote to Santa.” You could also gather kids in your neighborhood and organize a holiday craft fair. Find holiday craft ideas here or anywhere online, then deliver them to members of your community or align with a local non-profit and sell them as part of a fundraiser.

Give more of yourself.

One simple way to share with others this holiday season is to make an appointment to donate blood. The Red Cross is always seeking donations and makes finding a local blood drive easier. You could also place yourself on the organ donor registry in your state, or sign up to donate bone marrow through bethematch.org.

Be Santa’s last-minute helper.

As the year winds down, someone you know may need help with end-of-year tax prep, a ride to religious services or holiday events, or a lift to the mall for last-minute shopping or to return a gift. If snowfall’s in the forecast, you can help a senior out by shoveling their drive, or gather the kids together and form a neighborhood shoveling crew. You can even accept donations for your favorite cause, or non-perishables to donate to your local food pantry.

Want to find even more ways to get into the season of giving? Search here using keyword “holiday.”

Send a holiday care package

Send a holiday care package

Holiday care packages are boxes of sunshine sure to brighten someone’s day.