Want to give someone the perfect gift without spending a lot of money? These five ways to give back without spending a dime make great gift ideas for people you love and admire the most.
One of my favorite things about the holiday season is that everyone just seems to be in the mood to give. Give gift, gift back, give thanks, there’s just a ton of giving going on. Sometimes giving to others can get expensive when you’re doing things like giving gifts to all of your friends, buying lunch for someone at the next table, or even putting providing an entire holiday dinner for a family in need. But it doesn’t have to be. What you give doesn’t have to be about the money or stuff. There are tons of ways to give back this holiday season without spending a dime. These are five of my favorites.
5 Ways to Give Back for Free This Holiday Season
1 – Give your time.
Instead of giving someone something monetary, offer your time to a friend instead. Offer to baby-sit so they can go holiday shopping without the kids, offer to help clean up after a party they’re hosting, offer to organize the class holiday party so that the same exhausted mom doesn’t have to. Giving your time can often be way more impactful than giving money and guess what, it’s free. When my parents came and watched my toddler so I could have a break, it was one of the best gifts I could ever ask for.
2 – Make a wish.
Every year UPS runs a Wishes Delivered program where every year they accept wishes from people around the country, wishes for people in need, and then they deliver those wishes to the people in need. UPS wants to celebrate the great people in communities across America. Last year they delivered things like playground equipment to a neighborhood who needed a boost for their community and…
You can give back this holiday season by submitting your own wish either at the #WishesDelivered Site or via Instagram or Twitter between November 10, 2015 and January 1, 2016. Just post on either platform with your wish and the hashtags #WishesDelivered and UPS will choose wishes to grant all season long. Who knows, your free wish could turn into an amazing gift to someone in need through the UPS #WishesDelivered program.
Any wishes made should be for someone you personally know or have worked with who is making a real difference in the community, someone that deserved to be celebrated for their commitment to the greater good. And best of all, for each wish submitted, UPS will make $1 donation (up to $150K total) to one of their charity partners – Boys & Girls Club of America, World Food Programme, Toys for Tots Literacy Program, The Salvation Army, or The UN Refugee Agency. So every wish you share with #WishesDelivered is a way you can help spread holiday cheer and raise money for charity.
3 – Make a donation.
I’m gonna be the first to admit that my house is overflowing with things that my family no longer needs. And this holiday season I’m planning to KonMari my house and donate all of those things to people who do need them. There are places that will accept pretty much anything you want to donate – books, clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, and even things like dishes and kitchen supplies. Take one Saturday afternoon and go through your house to find at least one bag full of stuff that you haven’t used or thought about using in a year then donate it locally. Not only is this one free, you can actually get a tax write-off, which means money back in your pocket come tax day.
4 – Be a little nicer.
This one sounds simple but it honestly could have the most impact. I’ve been that mom at the grocery store who just needs a friendly smile or someone being patient while my toddler is ripping things off the shelves. The holidays are stressful and everyone could use a little more kindness. Be that person who is throwing kindness around like confetti. You never know whose day you might change.
5 – Volunteer somewhere.
Holidays are one of the busiest times of year at shelters, soup kitchens, and other places that regularly need volunteers to help serve less fortunate members of the community. Spend an afternoon volunteering at a place nearby or even do something simple like helping gathering donations for your favorite charity. I know my mom works at a therapeutic riding center and they’re always looking for volunteers to help. There are plenty of ways to get involved during the holidays, so just look around and ask to help.
What are some of your favorite free ways to give back during the holiday season? What’s your wish?