How to Give Back this Holiday Season

Between shopping, travel, and festivities, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by our to-do lists during the holidays. However, setting aside a little time (and budget) for those in need lifts spirits and generates goodwill, making the days brighter and hearts lighter. Whether you volunteer, donate money, or organize a charity event, serving others is often the best gift of all. Origin is here to help with suggestions on how you can give back to your community and spread joy this season:

1. Donate to a non-profit you’re passionate about. Many charities and nonprofits have special pledges and fundraising drives during the holidays. If you’ve been waiting all year to donate to a cause you’re passionate about, now is the time! To keep your funds and financial information safe, never donate to a nonprofit without researching it first. Search the organization on a vetted site like Charity Watch to ensure it’s legitimate, and be sure to save a record of your donation for tax purposes.


2. Volunteer your time. Time is precious, and sharing some of yours during the holidays can make a real difference. Serve hot meals at a soup kitchen, contribute to canned food drives, spread holiday cheer by visiting a local nursing home…there are so many causes that rely on volunteer support and appreciate your efforts.

3. Appreciate your community heroes. From postal workers and trash/recycling collectors to crossing guards and teachers, show the love for those who serve you throughout the year. Express your gratitude with baked goods and a thoughtful thank you note, gift cards for their favorite coffee shops, or a generous tip for their hard work. Let them know they are seen and valued.

4. Support local businesses. Every dollar spent with local businesses and artisans supports local jobs, tax revenues and economies. Studies have also shown that local, independent businesses often return a higher percentage of revenue to their communities compared to national chains. With more and more hometown retailers offering online shopping, payment, and deliveries just like their big online competitors, there’s never been a better time to shop small. Pay special attention to local businesses that donate a portion of holiday sales to charitable community causes.

5. Spread holiday cheer. The holidays are a time for celebration and togetherness. Whether you volunteer as a gift wrapper at a charity or small business, or gather friends to go caroling in your neighborhood, there are many small ways to spread holiday spirit.

6. Buy presents for families in need. Brighten the holidays for those less fortunate by signing up for an “adopt a child” or “adopt a family” program to buy presents for those in need. Check with your employer, school, religious organization, or shopping mall to see if they participate in one of these programs.

7. Donate winter clothes. During colder months, there’s always an increased need for apparel like coats, gloves, and scarves. Help those in need stay warm by donating gently used or outgrown clothing and cold-weather accessories to local nonprofits and shelters.

No matter how you choose to give back, the holiday season is a perfect opportunity to show appreciation for your community. For more information on how Origin Bank gives back throughout the year, visit our community involvement page.