The holiday season is a time to celebrate family + friendships. We show our appreciation + affection for our loved ones by spending time together, enjoying holiday #EEEEEATS, + giving the gifts we’ve been eyein’ all year. But giving isn’t only about presents — we can and *should* use this season as a time help better the world around us through charity, gratitude, + service. Here are a few ways we pay it forward throughout the holidays:
1] CONTINUE THE GRATITUDE
Being thankful doesn’t + shouldn’t stop with Thanksgiving. As the year comes to a close, think back to those who have made a regular impact on your life — be it a professor, coworker, a fellow CHAARG girl, or even the barista who helps you #reCHAARG each morning ; ). Sharing the kindness someone has made showed you + its effect on you can be really meaningful, so don’t be afraid to let them know. Write them a card//pull them aside + let them know that you are thankful for them. What these people give you is often more important than a *physical present*.
There are a lot of people we encounter who help us every day who could probably use so much more recognition + appreciation — maintenance staff, public transportation workers, + food service employees come to mind. Don’t be afraid to throw in an extra thank you here + there — it is noticed + trust us, people *really* appreciate it.
2] SUPPORT YOUR FAVORITE CHARITIES
Giving Tuesday may be over, but the charity doesn’t need to stop there. Don’t be afraid to make donations in a friend or family member’s name as part of a gift — especially if it’s a cause that they really care about or they’re hard to buy for [+ it’s more meaningful than most gift cards ; )].
When deciding where to give money to this holiday season [+ throughout the year], make sure to research the organization first. Charities have administrative costs + technically, a portion of your donation goes towards that as well. We recommend finding charities that keep administrative costs as low as possible — this information can usually be found on their website or through resources like Charity Navigator + Charity Watch.
3] HELP THOSE IN NEED CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS
This is one of the most common ways to give back throughout the holidays + unfortunately, there’s always a need for it. Helping a family celebrate the holidays — be it through food or toy donations for children can really help ease their stresses + burdens, whatever they may be. *Adopting* a family//children can be extremely rewarding + we definitely recommend exploring options in your area!
4] DONATE YOUR TIME + ABILITIES
Giving to charities is very important + a good way to make a difference, but many organizations really need help through manpower [or woman-power ; )]. Do some Googlin’ + explore options for food pantries, soup kitchens, nursing homes, + other organizations that benefit greatly from community service. Their needs can range from serving food to wrapping presents to singing carols, so there’s *always* a role you can fill.
5] HELP OUT WHERE [+ WHEN] YOU CAN
Paying it forward doesn’t need to take a lot of time or money — there a *plenty* of things you can do as you go about your routine. Small gestures can make a big difference in someone’s attitude, even if it’s something as simple as holding door, shoveling snow for a neighbor [did somebody say arm day?], donating blood, tipping extra, or paying for a stranger’s coffee or meal [let’s be real — we would LOVE a free caffeine boost ; )].
If you’re home for the holidays, clean up around your parents or make dinner + don’t ask if they need help — JUST DO IT. Anything that makes someone else’s life easier is spreading the positive holiday vibes + the spirit of the season.
How are you giving back + making an impact this holiday season? Pay it forward + share your stories on Instagram + tag #CHAARGmas + don’t be afraid to share a few — the more the merrier ; )
+ Ali [@ali.inchaarg], virtCHAARG girl from Philly