Happy December 1st!!! In my mind it’s not officially the holiday season until December 1st. So, as of today, I am in full-on holiday mode and loving it! I plan on putting up and decorating my Christmas tree tomorrow and finally starting in on my Christmas shopping!
As every busy woman knows, the holiday season comes and goes in the blink of an eye. With so much to do it can be hard to find the time to give back. Giving back to your community is something that is so deeply important to me, that I thought today I would talk about 5 easy ways you can give back this holiday season – even though you are busy!
I also know that it’s not just time, but money as well, that lead many people to feel they cannot participate in any charitable giving campaigns, etc., during the holidays. Therefore I wanted to ensure that in talking about 5 ways to give back this holiday despite being a busy woman; that I focused on things that aren’t just “donate money”. There are ways to give back and support your community this holiday that you can squeeze into a busy schedule that don’t cost you an arm and a leg! Below are 5 great ways to give back this holiday season:
This is such a great initiative that gives women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness a great gift to open on Christmas. Essentially you fill a shoe box with presents valued at $50 and wrap it up to be gifted to a woman in need. This is such an easy way to make a difference in someone’s day this Christmas. You can pick up the items for your shoebox next time you are at a drug store! I got everything I needed for my shoebox this year while running to Shopper’s drug mart over my lunch break. I got a super soft scarf and gloves set, a $15 Tim Hortons gift card, socks, and a ton of chocolate and candy.
You can also use this as a great excuse to get together with friends this busy holiday season! I went to a “shoebox wrapping party” last weekend hosted by a friend in which everyone purchased items and brought a shoe box to the party to wrap up while we hung out. Support the Shoebox Project this holiday season! Ps. The site I have linked up above is the Canadian website, but there is also a US Shoebox Project.
is such an amazing initiative! I participated last year and, while I am not participating myself this year, am definitely donating to other women who are. Dressember is a campaign that uses fashion to advocate for women who’ve been exploited; women who
need our help across the world. It challenges women to wear a dress for all 31 days
of December. In doing so, they are advocating for the inherent dignity of all women.
Participants in Dressember can have people donate to their pledge page; with funds going to support initiatives seeking to end modern day slavery and the exploitation of women.
Participating in Dressember is a great way to support women’s rights and help a great cause this holiday season! If you aren’t interested in participating, you can definitely still consider donating on the website to support this great cause.
Most of you probably know the Make a Wish Foundation; a foundation that works to grant sick children their wishes. But, what many people don’t know about is the Make a Wish Foundation’s “Wishes in Flight” Program. With this program, you can donate air miles you may have with a ton of different participating airlines. By donating your miles you are helping the Foundation with the travel aspect of kids wishes. This is such a great initiative that you can participate in with a few clicks of a button!
4. Kiva Loans
Kiva is a unique international non-profit that connects you to individuals across the world in need of a loan. Unlike typical charities you are not donating money rather, you are loaning it to someone to help them buy supplies or otherwise improve their business. I also really like that you can tailor your loans by region of the world or area of interest and you get a sense of really helping when you get to see the exact specifics of what your loan is helping achieve.
Kiva is amazing because you can support women across the world and help them build a better life. I’ve donated specifically to two different woman in East Africa (I’ve spent time in both Uganda & Tanzania and part of my heart is still there!) Once those loans are paid back I will go on to re-loan that money to two other woman and hope to continue to do so indefinitely.
5. Plan to Volunteer or Donate In The New Year
While it is amazing that the holiday season brings out the giving nature in so many people, many non-profit organizations find that they are over-run with volunteers over the holiday season, but are short-staffed come January. A great way to make a difference this holiday season (and perfect if you are busy over the holidays) is to make a concrete plan to volunteer with or donate to a charity in the new year when volunteers/donations are down.
BONUS: Give Gifts That Give Back!
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I love supporting brands that give back. An easy way for you to help give back this holiday season is to purchase gifts for the loved ones on your list from companies with a charitable aspect. My favorite companies/brands include: