ways to give back this holiday season | olive june

ways to give back this holiday season

this time of year carries around a strong sense of kindness towards others. if you know me well, you know i am a very empathetic person... i feel for ya. it's around this time of year when my heart aches for others. if i am being honest, this has especially been the case since the moment i became a mom, almost two years ago. i really want to foster all of the animals and babies and kids who need someone. here are five different ways to give back and hopefully make a difference this season. there are so many ways that you can make a huge impact and spread joy. 

charity water | my sister recently introduced me to this incredible charity and it touched me very much. here is a video about the organization (click on the video on the left hand side- it does a wonderful job of explaining their touching and remarkable story). i want to make a donation every year on my birthday as well. recently, my siblings and i discussed with my parents the idea of charity + experiences over gifts for christmas (and i love it). this year, instead of getting a gift for my parents (although they deserve so much), we plan to adopt a child from the giving tree + donate to charity water... and they could not be happier about it. in addition, my sister and her husband are setting up an awesome account for our son for a future trip to disney world... so magical. i do love to give to others... gifts they want, need, love... but sometimes an experience or a donation to a touching cause are even more special. 

donate clothes | it's near winter and the temperatures are drastically dropping. in 2010, i volunteered on thanksgiving day at a big event in downtown cincinnati called fall feast. people in need came to get a warm meal, families came to eat with them- while they also received (if they wanted) a haircut, their eyes were checked and then they got to pick out a new coat. the entire experience was eye-opening and heartbreaking but seeing the eagerness for the winter coats/the first stop for most of the adults and the little kids who were picking out the pretty coats or the 'fun' (but less warm) coats was the hardest thing for me to watch. we would help them pick out coats and their guardians were adamant that the coat was as warm as possible. collecting and giving hats, mittens, sweaters, coats to local charities / a local shelter or keep them in your car and give out to homeless people when you see them. 

forgive/mend relationships | there's no better time than the holidays to mend a broken relationship. if something is bothering you about a relationship that is important to you, grab a coffee, send a card, make a phone call, pray about the situation- get back in touch. friendships and family members are two of the greatest gifts we have been given. 

pay it forward | one of my favorite things to do throughout the year is to pay it forward. whether you give blood, pay for someone else's meal, leave a gift card, give to the homeless (food, a blanket, a kit), volunteer/help serve a free meal, give something for free. all of these will make a greater impact than you might think. it feels good to give to others and make a day! also, here are some companies that give back as well. 
if you decide to give back this season
please share your experience below
i would love to hear all about it
tis' the season 

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