You know what today is? It’s the third day of Blogmas. Day One and Day Two have both received such positive feedback that I am so excited to continue today. As always, the giveaway is at the bottom of this post!
You’re in for a treat today. Three years ago, when I started my first ‘hobby blog’ I wrote a post about how to bless others during the holidays. Essentially, I wrote what you are about to read just now. Obviously, this is the new and improved version of the post; my writing has improved and so has my entire blog. However, the photo I am showing you is the exact same one I used three years ago. I don’t usually take a lot of photos when I volunteer, and this is a good one.
This is junior-year-me, not junior-year-in-college-me, this is a photo of me from my junior year of high school five years ago. It seems like just yesterday but so long ago. I still volunteer a lot of my time, I just don’t have photos to prove it.
Today, I am sharing with you some of my favorite charities and causes and why they are the perfect charities to volunteer at or donate to (“the end of the tax year is upon us, get those deductions,” said the accountant) during the holidays and for the rest of the year. I will also be talking about other ways you can give back to others during this season of giving.
My Favorite Non-Profit Organizations
The First Tee
I may be a little biased because I am a graduate of the First Tee program, but the First Tee is an amazing organization. Their mission is “to provide youth with educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.” I participated in The First Tee from the 6th-12th grade and became a coach for the program in my sophomore year of college. I’ve been working with them for years and I’ve seen what this program does for kids. For a lot of these kids, The First Tee is their chance to get away from the house, be outside, and learn values like perseverance, integrity, and responsibility. I currently work with an after school program that targets a low-income area and seeing how happy the kids are to come every week is so inspiring and uplifting.
The Humane Society
Again, I’m biased. I volunteer at the Humane Society as a dog walker and cat handler. You can volunteer too! Animal shelters are overridden with unwanted animals, which breaks my heart, but you can help acclimate some of the more sheltered or abused animals to other human beings. By helping to acclimate them, you’re increasing their chances of being adopted. I watched another volunteer work with a cat for months and take the cat from being reclusive and prone to scratching to the sweetest cat I’ve ever seen. She helped that cat get adopted! Even your donations help to put on adoption events and increase the capacity of the shelter.
I always donate my used items to Catholic Charities. Since I’d rather not give them to Goodwill since Goodwill sells the donated items, Catholic Charities is always my pick. My parents donate here too and they’ve gotten them to pick up entire wardrobes and bed frames in the past. You don’t have to be Catholic to donate!
Court Appointed Special Advocates
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a system that appoints an adult (also called a CASA) to abused and neglected kids in the foster care system. They look out for the special interests of the child while in the foster care and social services system assuring that the children are cared for during the long legal process. These CASAs stay with the children until their case is closed and they are placed in a permanent home. It really does help so many children and it is a great program.
Other Ways You Can Give Back
Buy Lunch for Someone
Whether it’s a person on the street or just a friend, buying lunch for someone is a generous gesture. Over the summer, I actually bought a man a breakfast sandwich and it was one of the most rewarding feelings I’ve ever had. We talked over breakfast and coffee and I learned so much about this man who was struggling to put himself through community college and get an education. Maybe you’ll learn something new about someone too.
Run A Coat and Blanket Drive
During the winter, this is one of the best things to do. There are people living on the streets that would be so grateful for a coat or a blanket to keep them warm this winter.
Write Thank You Notes
Despite what you may have received this season or will receive this holiday season, write thank you notes to people telling them how much you appreciate them. Write to your favorite high school teacher and thank them for inspiring to pursue a certain field of study, write to your friend who was there with you through your first meltdown in high school or college (we’ve all had them), or do something as simple as give your parents a heartfelt card telling them how thankful and appreciative you are of all the things they have done for you.
Volunteer at a Food Bank or Soup Kitchen
You’re helping people who don’t have enough food get food for the holidays. These places need you during this busy time. I promise it’s one of the most rewarding experiences out there!
Happy 3rd Day of Blogmas!
So what are we giving away today? We are giving away nail polish and a foot scrub! Head over to Stefanie’s blog here and enter to win! It’s that simple!
>> The Giveaway is HERE <<
Don’t forget to check out the other awesome bloggers!