At Christmastime, we all start to feel a little more generous and want to help out our fellow man, but this Christmas – your pockets might be empty and you might not have anything extra to share.
So how can you help others this Christmas when you don’t have any extra money to spare?
Here are a few ideas that cost little or nothing.
We all have this and it costs very little. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Drop by a local nursing home and visit with some residents. If you have a talent (like singing, playing an instrument, juggling, etc.) share it!
Check around your community for other ways you can volunteer your time. Perhaps you can volunteer with a children’s charity to wrap gifts, shop with kids etc. Maybe a clothing closet needs help sorting donations or a food pantry is short-handed as they pass out food items.
Make Christmas cards for shelter or nursing home residents. Spruce up some pre-made cards and personalize them to make them more special. Use glitter glue, ribbon and other things to decorate.
Pass them out personally or drop them off with the organization. Nursing home residents will especially appreciate such a sentiment as many have no family or friends left.
Check around your neighborhood and see if there are any elderly shut-ins who might appreciate a helping hand with putting up a Christmas tree.
How about offering to help decorate at your local library, homeless shelter or nursing home? I’m sure they’d appreciate a willing volunteer and a helping hand. Nursing home staff will especially appreciate a helping hand and the residents will love receiving your visit – and your decorating efforts.
Make homemade cookies and share them with neighbors, your doctor’s office staff, library staff, etc. At Christmas my family members make cookies and other treats (like homemade candy or pumpkin bread) to give to mail carriers, trash collectors, delivery drivers, etc.
If you don’t really know your neighbors, what a great way to say hello and get to know them. You might be surprised at the friendships you can start.
Many organizations work on a shoestring budget and usually decorations aren’t part of it. Check around with local shelters and social organizations to see if they’d like some donations of Christmas decorations.
Look through your stuff
Do you have old or extra blankets or towels that you don’t need? Shelters for people and animals usually need such items for their residents and they would appreciate your donations.
Many organizations also take up donations year-round for household items to help families in need. Check around your community to see what’s available and how you can help.
Pull your creativity out with the Christmas decorations and think of ways you can spread some Christmas joy without spending much. You’ll be surprised at some of the neat ideas you’ll come up with!