With the holidays in full swing, most of us are feeling generous and want to share our good fortune with those who might not be so fortunate right now. Although COVID has put a damper on us being able to get together in large groups to help and celebrate the community, there are still many ways that you can help to give back. If there is one thing that the pandemic has taught us, it is that we should cherish every day we have and not take a moment for granted. These are excellent ways to help those around you this holiday season, and also, to spread goodwill that will last throughout the year.
As anyone who has ever lost someone to cancer knows, it is a very difficult and devastating process. Cancer isn’t just hard on the people who have it; it affects entire families and puts a lot of strain, both physical and emotional, on caregivers too. Help out by running errands, delivering meals, or helping with driving accommodations. There are a whole lot of different opportunities to help those who are suffering from cancer this holiday season and beyond. And you can still maintain your social distance while doing it.
Not everyone will get to be with friends and family this holiday season. Help those who work tirelessly to defend our freedom by sending care packages to deployed service members. The Soldiers' Angels organization allows you to help from home, so there isn’t any risk of COVID exposure. And since women have their own set of hurdles when working in the military, they focus on women's health and hygiene while away. Help to pamper a soldier, even if it is just a little bit of downtime for them – it will truly be a gift. There are many ways you can help from writing holiday letters of gratitude to sewing and knitting blankets. It is a great organization to dive into!
Adopt a Military Family
It isn’t just about those who are in the military actively fighting for our rights and freedom, military families, in general, all sacrifice for us. If you are looking for a great way to bring a little happiness to those who will be missing their loved ones this Christmas, adopt a military family and show them the kindness that they deserve.
Meals on Wheels
Although it is hard to imagine, not everyone has a family to lean on for support, especially during the holidays. A lot of elderly and physically challenged individuals have a hard time getting the access they need to the most vital things like food. Make sure that no one goes hungry not just during the holiday season, but throughout the year by joining Meals on Wheels. It is a charity that has been operating with success for decades, and there is a real need for you to help out!
Consider Rescuing an Animal
Sure, everyone wants Santa to bring them a puppy, but there are millions of animals that need homes right now. Animal rescue organizations help out animals that have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. Dorchester Paws is an amazing local rescue organization that is committed to saving the animals in the Summerville community and beyond. Make this year the year that you change the life of an animal, and add a cherished loved one to your family, all at once.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lowcountry
Start the New Year off right by volunteering your time to someone in the community who needs a role model and a little extra support. Big Brothers and Big Sisters is an organization that helps children ages 6-16 through mentoring single-parent households. It is a great way to make a change that will forever alter a little child’s life. And with all the stressors being exacerbated by COVID, you will help a single parent who might be struggling a little more now than ever before.
If you have some professional skills, why not help out? Operation Home is an organization that helps make home repairs for low-income residents around the Summerville area. We take things like heating and cooling for granted, but basic heat is not a right. Help out families in need by fixing their homes to make them not just comfortable, but in some instances, livable.
The holidays are a time to remember how grateful we should all be for all that we have. But not everyone is as fortunate as you. Spread some goodwill not just during the holiday season, but well into the New Year by lending your time to these non-for-profits operating in Summerville. Reach out and lend your many talents today and you will be amazed at the gifts you will get in return! And if you don’t have time to volunteer this holiday season, these organizations accept donations too. Happy Holidays!