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How to volunteer and give back safely this holiday season

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) While in-person volunteering is more difficult this year, there are still ways to give back during the holidays.

Group of people volunteering during holiday season

It’s no secret that the pandemic has changed the way we operate, especially in person. This applies to giving back during the holidays. While many enjoy volunteering in person and working on-site with different organizations, lockdown and social distancing restrictions make it difficult for such activities to take place.

However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t still do our part to give back and make a difference this holiday season – we just have to do it safely. Here are a few ideas of ways to give back without leaving the safety (and comfort) of your home.

  1. Monetary donations: Most charitable or non-profit organizations have systems in place on their websites or via phone to make credit card donations. In an effort to practice extra precaution, avoid mailing checks or cash to organizations if you can, and stick to donating by card or PayPal.
  2. Amazon wishlists: Many organizations have Amazon wishlists made public so that donors can go directly to their wishlist and purchase an item. The items are then sent directly to the organization, so no physical handling of goods is required on your part which eliminates a step of contact.
  3. Donating points: Many credit cards offer rewards points or airline miles that can sometimes be redeemed for gift cards, coupons, etc. If you’re racking up points that you would rather go to someone in need, contact your credit card company about how to best redeem your points.

You can still get out and volunteer or donate in person, just follow social distancing protocols and bring your mask. Grocery stores across the nation are still doing their in-store donations where you can purchase items (food, clothing, toys, etc.) to drop into a box right before you leave the store. You can also safely visit food pantries to bring supplies.

This holiday season can also be a great opportunity to support small businesses – many of which have been rocked by the pandemic. Try and do your holiday shopping at local small businesses when you can. Or, you can support them by leaving reviews online, following their social media pages, or simply telling your network about the existence of a small business or two that you like.

It’s been a tough year and there’s no time like the holidays for volunteering to support those who need our help.

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Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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  1. Pingback: 5 holiday gift ideas that will have your employees feeling valued

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