5 kind, generous things to do this holiday

December 4, 2015

holiday-spiritWhat does the holiday spirit really mean?

As you buy your holiday gifts, consider using part of your gift budget to help the world be a better place.  Even a small gift– $10 even–can be helpful. And it feels so good to do something for someone else.

So here are a few ways to stay in the holiday spirit.

Northern Dogs Project

Keep dogs in northern Canada from freezing to death with a gift of warmth and caring. Riley endorses this project.

Do you have a dog who is warm and comfy this winter? Dogs left outside in northern Canada are dying from exposure. The International Fund for Animal Welfare is providing dog houses to those in need. Here’s a video on the project.

Won’t you help? It’s already snowing up there and your financial support  is needed HERE.

 The ASPCA or any animal welfare group

Riley knows that he has a great life, but that many of his fellow dogs are abandoned and suffering The ASPCA is doing so much to help animals in need. If, like me, you simply can not watch the TV ads that graphically depict dogs and cats in need, write a check or use your credit card to make a donation of any size. How about this: instead of giving your significant other a gift, or receiving one from him/her you might make a joint donation as your holiday gift.  HERE’s where you donate.  Think of all the good you’ll do for animals who are suffering and in need.

Local help for the homeless

Something you can do today: buy some new socks, underwear, warm sweatshirts and gloves and donate them right away to an organization that serve the homeless. It’s winter. People are cold. This is such a small thing. Will you do it?

What you can do to help rural Africans

You may not be able to go on a mission to Africa, but you can help from your own home.

Who even knew that something as simple as pill bottles could make a huge difference?In parts of Africa, pills are distributed in folded scraps of paper, making them easy to lose and risking kids getting into them. The answer? Pill bottles. Why not do a holiday pill bottle drive? Ask friends and relatives to save their pill bottles, collect them and ship them off to this U.S. address, and they’ll get to Malawi. Any kind of pill bottle. Including aspirin, decongestants, etc. If you don’t take pills, I’ll bet your friends and family do.

Could this act of kindness be any easier? So much better than putting empty pill bottles in the recycle bin.   HERE is the info.

Don’t forget the children!

This is my opportunity to plug the wonderful St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, which is the major beneficiary of our estate. You may know it from Marlo Thomas’ involvement and before her, that of her dad, Danny Thomas. You may not know that the very sick kids treated there and their parents are not charged a cent. Not a cent or a dime or a dollar. This is such a wonderful place doing such good work, a donation would make a wonderful holiday gift. You can even dedicate it to someone–including your own healthy children or grandchildren.  Here’s a link.


38 comments on “5 kind, generous things to do this holiday
  1. Candy says:

    We raise money and take donations for local shelter. Plus as family we volunteer to clean and walk play with animals.

  2. I love it when we think of others at times like Christmas – rather than the me, me, me that our consumer society pushes down our throats. It’s a wonderful opportunity to give to a cause or a Christmas appeal and share some of the real joy of the season. Some great suggestions here Carol.

  3. Esther says:

    This is a great list! It’s really what the holiday season’s all about too. It makes me so appreciative of what I have and puts things in perspective to help others as much as you can.

  4. Ashley says:

    These are wonderful suggestions. We are sponsoring family of four, whose children are the same ages as my kids. Even though mine are very young I want them to understand and be supportive of those who need help in whatever way they can. I also think that it is never too early to teach children how fortunate they are and to not take things for granted.

  5. As always, Carol, your post is wonderful. I had no idea about the pill bottles. My Mom is probably the most charitable human being on the planet. I will definitely pass this on to her and we will probably have more than we can handle. Also, I saw a great post where if you have handbags you don’t want, fill them with feminine products and give it to a homeless woman or a shelter. Love that idea as well. I love how our women writers are always passing on the joy of the season in the best possible way!

  6. Elizabeth O. says:

    Definitely beautiful! I love the idea of sharing and giving, it is the season, after all. There are so many things we can do to help, like donating food to shelters.

  7. What a great post, Carol–and a wonderful reminder of what this season is really all about. A few years ago, I stopped sending my business clients holiday gifts and now take that money and donate it, usually to my local hunger prevention program and the state cancer foundation. The pill bottle donation is such an easy way to help–thanks for telling us about it. And I love the idea that Cathy shared about donating unwanted purses filled with feminine products for homeless women.

  8. Hi Carol, It’s really good to remember.
    Even this weekend our priest was reminding us that we need to stop focusing so much on all the “preparation” gifts, food, etc.
    Here in Trinidad our culture is very holiday focused. By the second week of December work would have slowed and everyone is just thinking about themselves.

    I think this a great reminder to remember others and give.
    And I’d like to say also don’t forget the elderly. We tend to give so much to others but forget our older folks who are lonely. It doesn’t take anything to just bake a cake and go visit them. They will cherish that more than any dollar we can give.

    Thanks again for this post.

  9. Hil says:

    I was in Malawi!! What made you choose that example? Were you there too or was it a random choice? My family has been collecting and doing stuff for Malawi for ages too.

    What a fun way to help out!

    You should link this up at our linky party:


    TWO parties in one! One for blog posts and another for Pinterest Pins, all posts shared to our group Pinterest board.

  10. Kimba says:

    I love the idea of charitable donations as holiday gifts. Thanks for you suggestions.

  11. I love the Northern Dogs Project! I hadn’t heard of it but I will look into donating to it! What a great way to help! I just love it!

  12. WendysHat says:

    This is a great list. I love doing charitable things all year long. Such a great feeling. I usually tend to donate my time and money to local childrens groups.

  13. Jacqui Odell says:

    I think it’s important to help out others. You never know when you are going to need it in return.

  14. A great list! Thank you for the reminder to be generous during the holidays season. Not all people/animals are as lucky.

  15. The pill bottle idea is an especially good one to know about – thank you. We don’t have much to do with Christmas until the 25th when we simply have a nice Christmas meal with my parents. We do buy presents for our grandchildren but we don’t go over the top with it. Can’t bear the greed, hype and commercialism, especially when a large chunk of the world is hungry. I recently went to Brighton where there are quite a few homeless people slumped in doorways looking very ill from drugs, booze, depression etc. Passing by, inches from their dirty sleeping bags, are people loaded down with Christmas tat. Just don’t get it. Some people do stop to give them hot food and drinks and try to connect with them for a brief moment. I know Christmas is meant to be a time for enjoyment but I can’t help being acutely aware that it is a time which accentuates loneliness and hardship for so many people.

  16. Roz Warren says:

    Something cool to do with old pill bottles! That’s brilliant — I can both help the planet by recycling and help people too.

  17. These are all great suggestions. They’re so easy to do and we should really do them all year long.

  18. Crystal says:

    I love this list. These are some great places to donate your time or your money.

  19. andi says:

    First of all, we should be kind and generous 365 days per year- NOT JUST on holidays! 😀

  20. Thanks for reminding people that this is a season for giving. This time of year I try to get together clothes and food for local families. But there are SOOOOO many people who need help. I wrote a blog post recently about how instead of doing Christmas Cards you could give the money you’d spend on postage and cards to causes like The Wounded Warriors or the S.June Smith center.
    Great Post!

  21. Clo Nevaeh says:

    This is such a great idea! I’m all about paying it forward and donating to toys for tots. Those are things I do every year around Christmas.

  22. I love this list! We are looking for things to do together as a family!

  23. Hi Carol! Thank you for reminding us all of these simple but compassionate things we can give to others. It really doesn’t take much as long as we do it with love! ~Kathy

  24. Carolann says:

    All wonderful Carol. I like the pill bottle idea too. We have charities that we give to all year long but during the holidays I like the idea of doing something different. Thanks much for sharing!

  25. Liz Mays says:

    St. Jude has done such remarkable work towards children’s cancer. They deserve every bit of the donations they get. They put the money to good use.

  26. Mary says:

    These are all wonderful suggestions. Thank you for bringing these charities to our attention.

  27. Love this! I know so many people that want to help out around this time of year, but don’t know where to start. This is a great reference!

  28. Emily says:

    What a wonderful list! I am especially drawn to helping the local homeless- I have seen a great idea floating around lately to fill your old purses with toiletries and snacks and to give it to a local homeless woman. I’d love to do that soon!

  29. Kathleen says:

    Great ideas and a better attitude. I had not heard of the pill bottles either. That is a good idea. Thanks for bringing real cheer to the Blogger’s Pit Stop, I am looking forward to seeing you next week.
    Kathleen #Pit Stop Crew

  30. Jeanine says:

    So many great ideas. This year we are helping the local Humane Society and a homeless shelter right downtown. My kids really look forward to it and so do I this time of year.

  31. Jonathan Key says:

    This is a really great post and some great suggestions. I think helping rural Africans resounds with me the most. I also did a similar post this week about ways to give back this Christmas.

  32. Brianna says:

    Those are some great ways to give during the holiday. Hopefully some will also give in other times and not just wait for the holiday to give.

  33. Hil says:

    Thanks for coming by and linking up at Bloggers Spotlight Link and Pin-It Party! Your post was pinned to our group board.

    Lol that it was a random choice, it certainly caught my attention! Go Malawi!

  34. Cori says:

    Thanks for sharing these organizations!

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