By Audra Dittlinger
If your family enjoys volunteering during the holiday season, it goes without saying that this year’s newfound pandemic regulations have really put a damper on everyone’s ability to give back in the ways they normally would.
Many animal shelters have ceased dog-walking volunteer opportunities. Serving food in a shelter has a new set of rules and precautions. With so many initiatives being halted, it leaves families wondering how they can help their fellow man in a challenging time where it’s more important than ever to contribute to the community.
Here are some ideas that could spark some action with your family!
- Donate books to a local library
- Be sure to check with your library first to see what their drop off and donation regulations are.
- Collect soda can tabs for Ronald McDonald House Charities
- For more information, go to rmhc.org.
- Donate blankets, newspapers, cleaning supplies, old towels, hand sanitizer, or food to an animal shelter
- Check with the shelter first – their greatest needs can differ from day to day!
- Organize a neighborhood (socially distant) clean-up initiative
- Have everyone bring their own trash bags, and don’t forget the masks and gloves!
- Distribute leaf bags or help neighbors rake fallen leaves
- Many older citizens need help blowing leaves, raking, bagging, and general yard clean up before winter strikes!
- Buy gift cards from local businesses or restaurants and give to those in need
- Local restaurants and shops need our support now more than ever, and if you pay the purchase forward to someone in need, it’s the gift that keeps on giving!
- Volunteer to virtually read books to seniors in a local nursing home
- Many residents in nursing homes are not able to accept in-person visitors right now, and a surprise book reading or other fun interaction with your family would certainly create a bright spot in their day!
- Deliver doorstep meals to new parents and other homebound individuals
- Be sure to check for potential allergies ahead of time, and to set up a time for the drop off that is both socially distant and well-timed for perishable foods.
- Donate birthday party decorations to youth shelters or children’s hospitals
- Every kid deserves to have a magical birthday. Think outside the box, and help these kids have a birthday they won’t soon forget!
- Organize a “caroling hop” with friends or family, and sing holiday songs outside of windows at a local nursing home
- Not in the mood for holiday songs yet? Totally fine! As long as you’re not parading around the building belting “Baby Shark,” you should be fine, and the residents will love it, either way.