When it comes to giving, we usually think of holiday shopping and finding the perfect gift for our loved ones. However, charitable giving is equally important. There are a variety of ways that you and your family can give back to the community this season. Here are a few ideas to help those in need this season.

Help Your Favorite Charity

It’s important to give this holiday season, as charitable giving can help spread the joy of the season to those who may not be able to receive it. Some of the organizations you can support this year include Toys for Tots and Meals on Wheels. Be sure to check their website for details about their donations.

Volunteer at Your Local Food Bank

Food banks across the country need volunteers. Many even have virtual opportunities for volunteers. Feeding America suggests making thank-you cards for donors. Children can also decorate the cards.

Write Letters to Military Members

Many organizations are dedicated to ensuring that our troops have a meaningful holiday season experience. Some of these include Operation Gratitude and Soldier’s Angels. You can also find drives in your area that collect holiday cards for the troops.

Help a Local Animal Shelter

First, ask the shelter what kind of help is needed. They may be low on supplies and could use food. Some might ask you to donate chew toys. Volunteering at an animal shelter can be a fun way to get involved in the community.

Donate Food to Your Local Firehouses or Hospitals

It’s important to remember essential workers, such as firefighters, nurses, and police officers, who must work during the holidays. Although some places may not accept homemade food, you can always reach out and ask if they’ll accept catering or delivery options.

Pay Someone’s Layaway Balance

A non-profit organization called Pay Away the Layaway helps families in need by paying off their layaway balances. By donating, you can help these individuals provide their families with the gifts they need, such as toys, clothes, and books. It’s a wonderful concept as you’ll be helping those in need provide for their families.

Spend Time in a Nursing Community

There are many nursing homes across the country with people who don’t have families to visit during the holidays. It can be a lonely time for these individuals.

A number of non-profit organizations aim to bring the spirit of the season to those who may not be able to celebrate. These programs arrange visits to nursing homes where you can spend time with older folks who may not have anyone else to visit.