No matter which side you were on for the Presidential election, the economy has been and continues to be an issue. It’s not going to turn-around anytime soon. We are all in this together and now is the time to step up and look out for each other. Even if times are tough for you and your family, here are some suggestions of real things we can all do for each other that won’t hurt us financially.
Some things you can and should be doing –
- When cooking a dinner, set aside a portion and put it in a container for a neighbor who is hurting, or an elderly person who may not be eating the best.
- When at the store, pick up a food item and drop it in the food pantry box. Even a box of pasta will help. Use coupons to get low cost items and donate them (don’t forget soaps and shampoos.)
- Also, don’t forget your local schools, they’re hurting too. Buy an extra box of Kleenex or paper towels and send them in. Teacher will be grateful.
- If you can, drop some coins into every kettle you see this holiday season.
- Now is the time to clean out your closets. Donate all unused winter items (coats, hats, gloves, and boots) to local charities.
- Same thing with the extra blankets you have lying around. It’s far better that they keep someone warm than sit in storage.
- Start collecting your used toys in good condition, clean them, get the pieces together and donate them to a holiday drive.
- Don’t forget school supplies, the kids hard hit by the hurricane lost everything including notebooks and supplies and even local kids’ families often don’t have the money to replenish supplies. Gather up your extras from the beginning of the school year and pass them on.
- Consider hiring kids for small jobs. A kid who makes a few bucks raking your lawn is a kid who feels he is contributing and is worth something.
- As the weather gets colder, check in with neighbors – make sure they have heat and are warm.
- When baking, make two and pass one on.
- Pass on a good book. Many people who can’t afford cable or the movies anymore are re-discovering the pleasures of reading a good book. Send over an engaging story that will provide hours of entertainment.
- Same thing with board games for kids. No cable or movies can mean re-discovering what to do with downtime. A board game played by the entire family is an evening that will delight all.
- Volunteer time to a charity. Work in a soup kitchen, play with the animals at the humane society, or work on a community project. Time is more valuable than you think.
- Speaking of the humane society, they can always use old towels, blankets, and pet toys for the animals. Have any extra pet supplies? Pass them on.
- Lastly, while I know it’s not easy – if you need help, please let people know. There are many who are willing to lend a hand, they just need to know how.
With so many people hurting this holiday season, try turning the focus of the season from getting to giving. By all means, celebrate and be thankful for what you’ve got but also remember your neighbors and those hit by adversity. Let’s be there for each other because, after all, one of the most inspiring things about America is that when things get tough, we’ve always got each others’ backs.
Have any additional ideas that you can add to add to this list?