Easy Ways To Give Back This Holiday Season

Posted on

Dec 15, 2022


Florida - Sarasota, Bradenton & Charlotte Counties , Florida - Southwest

Share This

The holidays are a season of giving, not just to our immediate circle, but to our communities and the world around us. It’s a great time to reach out to folks, organizations, or charities who may need a helping hand. If you don’t already have a favorite way of helping out, check out these easy ways to give back this holiday season. 


Often, time is the greatest gift we can give. Many of the charities and organizations that serve those in need rely on the presence of volunteers to function. Your local food bank, food pantry, temporary housing center, soup kitchen, community centers, animal shelters, and hospitals likely all need help. 

Volunteering is a great way to help others and contribute to your community. It doesn’t cost you anything in dollars, but it pays out in spades.

But volunteering doesn’t just give back to the community. Many people find the experience incredibly rewarding. It feels good to help others, and this feeling can be even stronger during the holidays. Search online or ask around to see if there are any organizations near you who might need a helping hand during the holidays.

Help Someone In Need

If volunteering doesn’t work for you, you might try something in your more immediate vicinity, like helping a neighbor. 

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, “A majority of Americans (57%) say they know only some of their neighbors; far fewer (26%) say they know most of them.” And this breakdown gets even more telling with different age demographics. Nearly a quarter of people under the age of 30 say they don’t know a single neighbor, whereas only four percent of people over 65 don’t know any of their neighbors. 

Helping out your neighbor can help each of you feel more connected. Not just with each other but with your community as well. This help can take on a lot of different forms: helping them carry groceries, chores around the house or yard, helping with transportation, walking a pet, etc. If you don’t know where to start, try looking online or posting your availability for various services to your community social media group. 


Food banks and pantries are always in need of donations, especially during the holidays. You may want to check in and see if there’s anything in particular they might need (food, toilet trees, etc.)

Giving blood is also a great way to give back during the holidays. Check with your local blood bank to see if your blood type is in need and if you’re eligible. Most places will accept blood from people aged 17–65.

If neither of the above donations align with what you’d like to give, you may consider evaluating the stuff you have that you don’t really need or use. Maybe there’s a toaster that you rarely use, or clothes, toys, a bike, artwork, or a number of other things that you think other people might enjoy. Most charity shops are happy to take unused or gently used items you’re willing to part with. These items might help others greatly. 

There are a lot of ways to give back, and though we should consider these things all year round, it’s especially important during the holidays. 

Other Articles You May Like

Embracing Gratitude with Your Aging Loved Ones: Unwrap the Joy of Memories this Holiday Season

During this festive season, amid the bustling holiday cheer and gift-giving, lets remember that this season also holds a special opportunity to reconnect with our aging loved ones. Their lives are a treasure trove of experiences a tapestry woven with laughter, resilience, and enduring love. Together, lets embark on a heartwarming journey: the Reverse Bucket List, celebrating the remarkable chapters of their lives.Shimmering Moments, Great and SmallRenowned surgeon and expert in longevity medicine, Peter Attia encourages a shift in perspective, urging us to marvel at whats been accomplished. Reflecting on past accomplishments can bring immense joy and a sense of fulfillment, says Attia. Its about acknowledging how far youve come and finding gratitude in those moments. Unpack LaughterEncourage storytelling where mischievous adventures and heartwarming triumphs take center stage.  That first nervous dance at the high school prom. The thrill of landing your dream job. The quiet contentment of raising a family. Savor the SweetnessEmbrace poignant memories. Tears and laughter are the consistent treads in lifes tapestry, creating a deeper understanding and strengthening the bonds between generations. Attia says, Instead of looking at what you havent done, look at all that you have done. Be amazed by yourself. Its a simple yet powerful message: replace regret with wonder. Treasure the TapestryCreate tangible memories a photo album, written stories, or recorded recollections. These keepsakes will become cherished heirlooms, passing down stories through generations.The Gift of GratitudeThe Reverse Bucket List isnt about erasing unfulfilled dreams, its about adding layers of gratitude. Witnessing the richness of your loved ones lives becomes an inspiration, honoring their past, enriching their present, and nurturing the connections that bind us. This holiday season, gather around the warmth of the fire or the comfort of the kitchen table, bask in the shared laughter, and embrace the wisdom etched in your aging loved ones faces. As Peter Attia reminds us, The things weve done, the experiences weve had, those are the things that define us. Remember them. Celebrate them.Article written by Patty Toner, Director of Marketing (patty@seniorsbluebook.com).  

Entertaining Ways for Seniors to Keep an Active Mind in the New Year

Its a New Year, and the tradition of making some positive resolutions is at the top of everyones mind. Yes, it is important to stay healthy, to eat well and set goals but it is also important to exercise the mind just as much as the body. Some enjoyable ways to keeping a happy and healthy mind in 2021 are to indulge in activities such as reading, writing, solving puzzles and so much more! Here are some fun ways to keep an active mind for the upcoming year.Reading, Writing and SmilingReading is an engaging way to not only pass time but to also keep your mind sharp. There are so many great new book releases that have recently come out which provide an exciting escape for people of all ages. Most books even come in a large print option for those challenged with reading up close, or those who just like having a larger font size. Reading strengthens the brain, helps reduce stress levels and has even been told to increase longevity. Mental health is such an important aspect of todays society, and reading a good book to be able to escape reality is one of the best ways to spend the day!Along with reading and its positive stimulation on the brain, writing your own stories is a great way to keep an active mind and to help set personal goals for the New Year. Many of our communities have a full-time Activities Director that tailor toward peoples special interests in areas such as these for reading and writing, along with other areas like cooking, crafts and much more. A fun New Years resolution to pursue this year could be something such as striving to write a different short story a day or other type of narrative. Then, you can share it with friends and family, a great way to maintain these valuable personal relationships and of course, show off your creativity!Games, Puzzles and MorePuzzles come in a wide variety of forms that are fun for everyone. There are so many different options to keep you occupied in the New Year like crosswords, word searches, Sudoku and even your traditional jigsaw puzzles. Your brains health is just as important as your bodys, especially during these unprecedented times. Doing just one type of puzzle a day will help keep a sharp mind, since it exercises both sides of the brain and improves spatial reasoning. Something similar to puzzles that is also fun and an efficient way to pass time is playing cards. Games such as Go Fish and Solitaire help enhance your memory and mood all great things when starting off fresh for a New Year. You can always take a look at our Celebrations Activities and Events program to see all the different, diverse and fun recreation that is offered on a daily basis.In all, do your part to experience life to the fullest, and make sure to set daily goals for yourself even if they are small. The key to having a happy New Year is staying busy and exercising the mind throughout the day. Just a few minutes of taking care of your brain makes a world of a difference!

5 Winter Activities for Seniors

The winter months can present unique challenges to seniors. From poor weather conditions that may aggravate medical conditions or prevent seniors from spending much time outside to potential dangers created by having to walk or drive in wet or icy weather, winter often means taking a different approach to daily life for seniors.If you or your loved one are a senior who is trying to cope with the winter months, we want to provide you with a list of safe and fun activities that can make these times a little more bearable.Indoor exercisesBecause poor weather can make it dangerous to go outside for a walk or for a breath of fresh air, indoor exercises can be a healthy and safer alternative. These include chair exercises, using a treadmill, hand strength and coordination activities, low-impact games on Wii, and gentle stretching. You can determine whats safe for you, speak with a doctor about exercise suggestions.GamesThere are numerous games that provide an excellent opportunity for fun and leisure indoors, as well as mental stimulation that becomes increasingly important as we age. Play your favorite board game, solve a jigsaw puzzle, attend a Bingo event, or even use a Wii to play electronic puzzle and math games. These fun activities can help keep the mind sharp and defend against seasonal and wintertime depression that affects people of all ages.Learn a skill or hobbyWith additional time indoors, seniors may find that they can use their time productively to learn a new craft or skill, such as knitting, crocheting, playing an instrument, cooking, or woodworking by reading a How-To book, learning online, or watching an instructional video. Seniors may also choose to take classes that can teach them new skills, encourage social interaction, and offer an opportunity to get outside the house, or invite others over to enjoy a hobby together or to teach the skill itself.ReadReading is a great activity any time of year, but it can be especially enjoyable when you cozy up with a good book or magazine during winter months. Seniors can also join a local book club, which can provide more interaction with friends and the opportunity to discuss what they have read.Spend time with friendsSpending time with friends and family can help pass the time and open up the world for a senior who may spend a lot of time at home. Inviting friends over for a weekly or even monthly event night can be a great way to catch up and enjoy a game or hobby as a group. Seniors may also hold book clubs or classes in their own home, where they can share their thoughts and skills with others.The winter months can be tough for everyone, not just seniors. By being creative and making the effort to use time indoors productively and enjoyably, seniors and anyone else who may be homebound can fend off boredom, improve their physical and mental health, and have fun.PRO-TIPWhile journaling is enjoyed by people of all ages, it can be a particularly beneficial activity for seniors. Regardless of what subjects are addressed, or even the quality of writing, journaling can contribute significantly to mental and emotional health.The good news is that its not difficult to get started with this activity. All you or your loved one need are a notebook, writing utensils, and dedication to jotting down at least a few sentences on a regular basis.Contact your local care advisor at Assisted Living Locators if you have questions about these ideas or how we can be of assistance, contact us today.For more information on how to prepare your family and your elderly loved ones for the holidays, please reach out to your local Assisted Living Locators senior care advisor today! 

Local Services By This Author

Merrill Gardens at Barkley Place

Assisted Living 36 Barkley Cir., Fort Myers, Florida, 33907

Merrill Gardens at Barkley Place offers a vibrant senior living community in Fort Myers, Florida, designed to provide residents with a fulfilling lifestyle. With a variety of floor plans, including studios, one, and two bedrooms, our community caters to independent living and assisted living needs.Our community features beautifully landscaped grounds, sun porches, balconies, and a range of amenities such as a fitness center, library, pool, and social spaces. Residents can enjoy a worry-free lifestyle with services like home maintenance, chef-prepared meals, and 24-hour staffing.At Merrill Gardens at Barkley Place, we prioritize an active lifestyle and offer a range of activities tailored to residents' interests. Whether it's exploring walking trails, engaging in social events, or pursuing hobbies, there's always something exciting to do.Our compassionate staff is dedicated to providing personalized care and ensuring residents feel at home. With over 20 years of serving the Fort Myers area, we have established ourselves as a trusted choice for senior living. Contact us today to schedule a tour and experience the Merrill Gardens difference.