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Ways to give back and be kind this holiday season

We’ve made it to the end of 2020. You might be among the masses who will be overjoyed to put this year behind us. With the festive feeling of the holiday season in the air, it’s a good time to help your heart grow a few sizes bigger and squash the humbug. Here are a few ways to give back and be kind this holiday season—without putting a ho-ho-hole in your budget.

Pay it forward.

I pulled up to Dunkin Donuts drive-through window to pick up my order. The smiling young man handed me my coffee. When I handed him my money, he said the woman ahead of me had already paid for it. And the one before that woman had paid for her order.

“It’s been going on all morning,” he said. “Really has made our day here.”

Naturally, I kept the chain intact and paid for the order that was next in line behind me. I pulled out of the parking lot feeling warm inside, without even taking a sip of my hot morning brew.

Give it a try!

Regift to a local charity.

Rather than pack up your discards, give your unused “regifts” (those items you received and never used) to a thrift shop or shelter. If your kids have toys that haven’t been used, give them to your church or other group that is collecting them for local children who could really use some presents for Christmas. 

Give thanks to a hero.

While you’re enjoying the holidays at home, tens of thousands of men and women are serving in the military around the world. Let them know they’re remembered by sending items for a care package to a soldier. United States Soldiers and Sailors of America collects all the donations at their office in Maryland and then assembles packages to ship overseas. If you want to send a care package, here’s a list of requested items and how to ship them. If you prefer to donate money to pay for supplies, you can do it here.

Deliver appreciation to your deliverer.

Online shopping—including ordering food—has kept delivery services busier than ever in 2020. If you’re someone who receives a lot of deliveries, give some thanks this time of year to the person who handles your route. Leave a thank you card clearly marked. Set out a basket or container with bottled water and packaged snacks for them to enjoy while they spend their day bringing their own kind of joy to doorsteps throughout the area. 

Practice random acts of kindness.

We’ve had a tough year. A little bit of kindness goes a long way toward getting us out of our funk. Be kind to a stranger by saying “hello” or offering a compliment. Let someone move in front of you in the checkout line. Drop off cookies or cupcakes at a nursing home. The organization, Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, has plenty more ideas for all ages!

Donate your time.

We’re all busy, particularly at this time of year. But if you can carve out a few hours to help out a good cause, put it on your schedule. Contact food banks to see if they need assistance with sorting and organizing donations. Ask your church leader about individuals or groups who need help. If you’re able to offer temporary shelter to an animal, check with local rescues about fostering a homeless pet. 

For our friends and neighbors in DC Metro and Montgomery County, MD, here’s a list of local non-profit organizations.

Be kind to yourself and to others. Be generous with your time. Let’s make caring a habit!

All of us at  Kettler Forlines Homes wish you comfort and happiness this holiday season.