donating for the holidays

Charitable giving tends to reach a peak during the holiday season, when a feeling of warmth and goodwill tends to spread. There are many opportunities for giving back to the community at this time of year, from food drives to toy drives and everything in between.

If you’re moved by the season of giving, why not jump in headfirst? You can make a big difference to members of your community while building your resume and college applications by joining a local volunteer effort or by organizing a charitable event.

Check out our recent post about volunteering during the holidays.

Organizing a Donation Drive

What’s in it for your community?

Organizing a charitable event or a donation drive will allow you to help people in need in your community. Here are some motivating statistics:

  • 3% of U.S. households face food insecurity
  • Food insecurity exists in every county in America
  • More than 1 in 5 children in the U.S. is at risk of hunger
  • Over 20 million U.S. children receive free or reduced-price lunch at school – during holiday breaks, that guaranteed meal isn’t available

Local food pantries and community food banks are often in need of donations during the holiday season to help provide holiday meals to families in need.

Particularly during the holiday season, many families experience needs that go beyond food. Families with children may lack the means to provide necessities like winter coats or simple holiday pleasures like gifts. National organizations like Toys for Tots and local community or church organizations accept donations to provide basic holiday pleasures to children in need.

What’s in it for you?

Of course there’s the warm and fuzzy feeling that charitable work lends – generosity to others is an inherent good. Moreover, there’s plenty of science to support the idea that charitable giving benefits your mental and physical health. But there are also plenty of more tangible benefits to high school students who organize donation drives or other charitable events:

  • Gain resume-worthy leadership and event-planning experience
  • Satisfy mandatory community service hours
  • Demonstrate initiative and community involvement on college applications

Getting Started

Step One: Identify a charitable organization to help. Do your research through organizations like Charity Navigator or Guide Star to make sure your efforts truly help those in need.

Step Two: Contact the charity of your choice to determine their needs and to learn how to deliver donations.

Step Three: Make a plan. Get your friends, classmates, and neighbors involved. Gather your donations and deliver them in time. Bask in the warmth of holiday generosity.

We wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season!