embracing the holiday spirit

Radio host legend Bernard Meltzer advised, “There is no better exercise for your heart than reaching down and helping to lift someone up.” Humanitarian, activist and diplomat Eleanor Roosevelt believed that “Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.” And Aesop, the Greek fabulist and storyteller, said “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” These heartfelt words resonate throughout the year, but they shine brightest around the holidays.

During this time of joy, love and togetherness, there’s something magical about the act of giving back at Christmas. Spreading kindness fills our hearts and reminds us of the true meaning of this special time of year. In this blog, we’ll explore how to give back – from volunteering and making charitable donations to adopting a family in need and assisting in local food banks. These acts of service and ways to give back during the holidays not only bring happiness to others but also have a profound impact on our own lives.

Volunteering: The Gift of Time

Volunteering is one of the most meaningful ways to give back to the community. There’s no shortage of opportunities to get involved, whether serving meals at food banks or homeless shelters, donating and wrapping gifts for children in need, or spending time with cats and dogs at a local animal shelter. Volunteering not only positively impacts the lives of others but also fills us with a sense of purpose and gratitude. It’s a reminder that the season’s true spirit lies in selflessness and compassion.

Many organizations host special events for those seeking volunteer opportunities during the holidays. Local churches, community centers and nonprofit organizations often welcome volunteers to help with holiday-themed projects. And for active seniors wondering how to give back, volunteering can be a fulfilling way to stay engaged and connected with your community.

Explore opportunities on VolunteerMatch, HandsOn Greater Phoenix and the City of Phoenix’s Volunteer PHX portal.

Adopting a Family in Need: Spreading Holiday Magic

Another way to give back during the holidays is by adopting a family in need and providing them gifts, food and essentials to ensure they have a memorable Christmas. This act of kindness can be significant for families with children, or grandparents with grandchildren, as it reinforces the importance of giving back and sharing with others.

Many community organizations and churches facilitate family adoption programs during the holiday season. It’s an opportunity to connect with a family, learn about their needs and make their holidays brighter. You create a lasting impact beyond the holiday season by opening your heart and home to others.

Assisting at a Local Food Bank: Fighting Hunger, Spreading Hope

Food insecurity is widespread throughout many communities, and 1 in 10 Arizonans struggles with hunger. The holiday season is an ideal time to get involved in hunger relief efforts. Organizations such as the Arizona Food Bank Network play a vital role in providing meals to those in need, and they often rely on volunteers to sort, pack and distribute food items.

Offering your time at a local food bank is one of the rewarding and practical ways to give back to the community. You can help ensure families struggling to put food on the table can enjoy a festive holiday meal. It’s a hands-on way to positively impact and bring a bit of hope to those facing difficult times.

Charitable Donations: Sharing the Blessings

Another powerful way to give back at Christmas is by making charitable donations. Charity Watch is a helpful resource in identifying organizations that will efficiently use your donation to fund the programs you want to support.

Whether it’s donating money, food, clothing or toys, your contributions can make a significant difference in the lives of others. Many organizations run holiday-specific donation drives, making it easy to get involved and support a cause close to your heart.

Consider cleaning your closets and donating gently used clothing and household items to a local shelter or thrift store. You can also contribute to food banks by purchasing non-perishable items to help families in need. Don’t forget the power of financial donations as well; they can provide much-needed resources to organizations doing valuable work in your community.

Giving Opportunities at Beatitudes Campus

If you’re an active older adult, you may want to explore opportunities right in your own backyard. Located in the heart of Phoenix, Beatitudes Campus senior living community values the spirit of connecting with others and giving back on and off campus. Residents engage in volunteer work, events and activities that provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment – from mentoring youth and participating in food drives to making and distributing handmade cards to area health care centers.

At the heart of our community, we value compassion and supporting each other in all aspects of life. The Beatitudes Foundation relies on generosity to support our Beatitudes Campus and the older adults who call it home. Your generosity makes it possible for us to offer a wide range of programs and services that enhance the lives of our residents and their families daily. Funding new resident programming, offering scholarships to those facing financial challenges and bringing innovative projects to life impact not just individuals but our entire community.

As you reflect on ways to give back during the holidays and bring joy to others, we invite you to consider donating to the Beatitudes Foundation. Your gift, regardless of its size, can make a meaningful difference in the lives of both current and future residents.

Featured Image: Drazen Zigic / Shutterstock