Top 5 ways to give back during the holidays

By Danielle McLaughlin
November 28, 2010

The holidays are a time to reflect on everything we have to be grateful for.  They are also a time to recognize those less fortunate.

1.  Donate or volunteer at your local soup kitchen

During this time of the year, soup kitchens have a drastic rise in attendance.  People flock to soup kitchens seeking food and shelter and those seeking to help the less fortunate.  Soup kitchens often accept both food and clothing donations.  To find a soup kitchen in your area which you can donate to or volunteer your time at go to

2.  Toys for tots

Toys for Tots is a foundation founded by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.  They have been in operation since 1991.  Toys for Tots collects donated, unwrapped Christmas presents to give to needy children.  To donate toys to Toys for Tots, go to

3.  Donate blood

When we think of the holidays, the idea of donating blood isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind.  However, it is a great way to give the gift of life during the holiday season.  According to the Red Cross, they need about 1,000 units of blood a day to keep up with demand.   To find a local blood drive in your area or to find out more information,

4.  Adopt a Family

The Salvation Army has a program called “Adopt a Family” which allows you to make a big difference for a family in need during the holiday season.  If you sign up to adopt a family, you can choose which size family you can afford to “adopt.”  From there, you will be given a wish list for each member of the family.  You can purchase however many items on the wish list that you can afford.

5.  Dress for Success

With the poor state of the economy, everyone knows someone who is currently unemployed and searching for a job.  For those who are having a hard time landing a job and can’t seem to afford appropriate clothes for a job interview, Dress for Success is the perfect solution.  This program provides professional clothing for people seeking to be hired.  To donate clothes to the Dress for Success program, go to

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Danielle McLaughlin

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