'Tis the Season to Give Back

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This year both flew by and crawled by at a snail’s pace. One thing for sure is that the holiday season is once again upon us, and due to all the hardships many people have endured, it’s never been more important to give back to those less fortunate and in need. 


Here are the top four reasons to give back to your local community this holiday season.
 

Spreading Cheer

Think about bringing a smile to someone’s face. It makes you feel pretty good, right? This should be the entire point of the holiday season. Many parents can’t afford gifts for their children, especially this year. Make someone’s holiday season memorable and give them something to open on Christmas morning. 

Consider sending letters to people in nursing homes and hospitals, especially with limitations on how many visitors they can have this year. Perhaps you pay for the person’s coffee or groceries behind you while running errands. Remember that every little thoughtful gesture counts when it comes to giving back and spreading holiday cheer.
 

Helping Those in Need

 

When you’re buying gifts this holiday season, consider who they benefit. Do they help support a small business that has been down on their luck during the pandemic? Or do they line the pockets of a multi-million-dollar corporation? Consider purchasing gifts and other necessary goods from organizations that give back and support charitable causes. By supporting organizations that give back, you’re helping other families benefit too. 
 

Supporting Our Community

 

Local Businesses

Buy from local stores to help sole proprietorships, local small businesses and freelancers. Chances are, we all know someone that has suffered financial hardships due to COVID-19. By purchasing gifts from those in the community, you’re giving back and helping our community remain strong during these difficult times. Handmade gifts are a great idea, especially with this season’s hottest trends for hand-knitted blankets, handmade soaps or even custom drawings. 
 

Charitable Organizations

You can also donate to charitable organizations that benefit our local area in South Carolina. Here’s a great list of local charities.
  • American Red Cross - Whether you’re interested in donating or volunteering, the Palmetto South Carolina American Red Cross has four locations: Lowcountry, Central, Eastern and Upstate. You can contribute to their cause or donate blood or plasma (for those that have had COVID-19) to help save lives this holiday season. 
  • Carolina Youth Development Center - Benefiting the children of South Carolina, the development center provides a safe environment, career readiness and educational support for vulnerable children. You can also donate to the Callen-Lacey Center for Children
  • Toys for Tots - Donate local to Charleston's children this year with the Toys for Tots campaign. Drop off a new, unwrapped toy by December 9, or you can volunteer to help distribute gifts to children around the holidays.    
  • East Cooper Community Outreach - Your support for this Mount Pleasant community outreach center helps provide food, clothing, medical and dental care, emergency financial assistance and educational opportunities to those in need. They accept donations, pantry items and even have an Amazon wishlist for things you can purchase. If you are interested in signing up to support, you can volunteer your business, neighborhood, church or group. 
  • HALOS - Providing advocacy and support for neglected and abused children and their new caregivers. Consider supporting this cause for children that have lost their family members during COVID-19.
  • Doors to Freedom - This residential facility is available to young women that are survivors of sex trafficking and have been subject to abuse. They provide a safe place for them to learn skills, receive higher education and gain the necessary work skills to start a career. 
  • My Sister’s House - This nonprofit organization helps to provide services and programs to domestic violence. They provide advocacy, education and training, shelter, family support programs, counseling and therapy and clinical support groups. 
 

Improving Wellbeing

 

Yes, it's important to give back to help those in need, but giving back is also beneficial for you. Volunteers report having better self-esteem, overall health and personal satisfaction than those who don't volunteer. Additionally, volunteering helps to stimulate the release of endorphins and euphoria feelings so much so that it's comparable to working out in a gym.

Remember, it’s the season to give back and support one another, especially during these difficult, somewhat dark times.