Spread goodwill to all
Sometimes the true meaning of the season can get lost in the stress and busyness of buying, wrapping, traveling, cooking and cleaning. It can leave you feeling tired, frustrated and unfulfilled at a time of year when you want to feel just the opposite.
One of the easiest ways to truly make the most of the season—and to experience its real magic—is by reaching out to help others. Finding ways to support those in need at this time of year is a wonderful way to bring peace and fulfillment into your own life. It’s also a good way to demonstrate the value of charity and selflessness to your children and grandchildren at a time of year when they may be more focused on what they’re getting than what they can give.
Your good deeds don’t have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time—unless you have lots of both to spare. They can just be small, simple acts of kindness that come straight from your heart.
- Make cookies at (or for) your local Ronald McDonald House. Foresters has been proud to work with individual Ronald McDonald Houses across North American for the past decade, supporting thousands of children and their families.
- Organize a new toy drive for a local hospital, women’s shelter, or children’s charity. This is an especially great activity for kids to get involved in!
- Collect canned and non-perishable food for a local food bank. You could even organize a food drive in your office, building, community or school.
- Pay a visit to a senior who may not have many visitors over the holidays. You could also drop off or send flowers or a gift basket to a local nursing home with instructions to give it to a resident who needs a little pick-me-up.
- Adopt a family through The Salvation Army (CAN http://www.salvationarmy.ca/, US https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/), or ask about families in need at your local place of worship or Children’s Aid Society, and put together a holiday hamper of gifts and treats so a needy family can have the kind of Christmas they otherwise couldn’t afford.
- Volunteer to serve dinner at a homeless shelter.
- Celebrate Mitten Tree Day and organize a mitten drive.
- Tuck a grocery store gift card into a Christmas card and anonymously mail it to a friend or neighbor who you know is facing some financial difficulties.
- Be a secret Santa and anonymously pay off all, or a portion, of a stranger’s layaway purchases. This happened at a Kmart in Michigan in 2011, according to this Time article, and it started a slew of copycat giving right across the country!
- Call a local women’s shelter or maternity home and ask what items they might need at this time of year. Purchase whatever you can afford and arrange to drop off your donation during the holidays.
- Think about a friend or family member who has struggled with loss this year, either through a death in the family or a divorce or separation. Consider offering to help out with their holiday responsibilities, since they may not have the energy to do much themselves this year. Share some of your special baking, or offer to mail their Christmas cards, decorate their tree, deliver some gifts or cook part of their holiday meal.
The spirit of volunteerism is the cornerstone of Foresters purpose, and we are so thankful to have so many dedicated members who are as committed as we are to making a difference in the lives of families and the communities where they live. Whatever charitable cause you decide to support this holiday season, know that your efforts and generosity will be appreciated by the people who are directly impacted by your act of kindness.
410471 CAN/US (04/15)