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The holiday season is upon us and that often means parties, exchanging gifts and enjoying delicious meals with loved ones. But it's also a good time to focus on gratitude and giving. Whether it's paying it forward or making donations, we have some ideas to make it easy to give back this season. 

Give Blood

Giving blood costs you nothing, generally takes less than an hour, and could mean the difference between life and death for someone else. Keep an eye out for blood drive posters or head down to a donation center. 

Neighborhood School Wishlist

School budgets are tighter than they used to be, and many teachers end up buying their own pencils, craft supplies, and books. See if your neighborhood school has a wish list, or call up a favorite teacher and volunteer to do a little shopping. 

Phone it In

Making small donations is easier than ever in the Internet age. Many non-profits offer a text-to-donate option, which is as easy as dialing a few numbers while you’re waiting in line. 

Tip Well When You Dine Out

You never know what your server is going through. Increase your tips to 50% or even 100% and write them a little thank you note from you and/or your family wishing them well this holiday season.

Pay it Forward

This is probably the most common way to give back. Whether you’re in line at your local coffee shop or at the grocery store, pay for the person behind you then walk away. It will definitely make a stranger’s day. 

Looking for additional resources to help you donate locally? Here are a few more ideas:

 

    • Scroll through the resources on 2-1-1 to get an idea of what the needs are in your area.
    • Check your local Salvation Army website.
    • Do a quick Google search of local adopt-a-family programs.
    • Check with local nonprofits and churches to see how you can help with specific financial giving. Some also run local toy drives, provide holiday meals or offer other ways to get involved. 
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