Wednesday, December 16, 2020 / by Sonya Reiselt
We hear it every year: the holidays are the perfect time to give back to your community. And, although it’s always wonderful to give back anytime of the year, Christmas 2020 just seems a little different. There are so many families in the Lowcountry that have been struggling more than usual this year due to the pandemic, from long-term unemployment, illness, having to put work on hold due to virtual learning, etc., and it’s more important than ever that we give back to our community, however we can, in their time of need. Thankfully, the Lowcountry has always taken great pride in being there for its neighbors and there are many ways we can give back to those who need it most this holiday season!
Donate in honor of yourself or a loved one
The holidays are, without a doubt, the busiest time of the year. While it can be our best intention to volunteer and give back throughout the month, we often overestimate how much time we actually have. If you’re finding that you want to donate but you don’t necessarily have the time, consider donating to your favorite local charity. Unsure of what to get the philanthropist in your life for Christmas? Make a donation in their name to their favorite local charity!
Volunteer as a family
What better way to bring your family closer together than by donating your time to help others? Even if just a for a couple of hours, your family can make a lasting impact on others’ holidays this year by donating time and showing that you care.
This is also such an incredible way to teach your children what it means to give back. Often times kids can’t fully comprehend how other families struggle because they don’t see it firsthand. Teaching them how to give back in the community by letting follow your example is the best gift you can give them this year. Showing your children how to give back to those in need at a young age will help nurture them to stay committed to the less fortunate in the community for years to come!
Organize a neighborhood food drive or holiday fund
This is sure to bring your community together for the best cause! Although typical drives are a little more difficult due to the pandemic this year, they are still very much possible.
· Have interested neighbors leave their canned/nonperishable foods out on their front porches and you can pick them up in a contactless manner. Make sure they know that they could also contribute monetary donations, as well!
· Not getting together with extended family this year and having your traditional White Elephant or Secret Santa? Consider setting up a holiday fund that the whole family can contribute to in lieu of presents. Every little bit makes a big difference and your family could make significant impact this year!
Check in on a family member or friend who might be struggling
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to donate in order to make a difference! This year has been difficult for many people and those that are closest to us might be struggling, too. Whether it’s your closest neighbor or an old friend, don’t hesitate to reach out. Whether it be a 5-minute phone call or dropping off food for someone who has to quarantine and can’t be with their family, the smallest gesture could turn someone’s year around!
Unsure of where to start? Here are some of the most involved local charities in the area:
· Lowcountry Food Bank – The largest food bank in the area that provides both nutritious food and education to the people most in need in the community, as well as those who strive to help their neighbors.
· I Heart Hungry Kids – An outreach program founded by a local 7-year-old whose initiative is to empower other children in the community to get involved in fighting childhood hunger.
· Lowcountry Orphan Relief – The mission at the orphan relief is to meet any of the needs of children in the community who are at-risk and suffering from abandonment, abuse or neglect.
· My Sister's House – This organization is dedicated to providing aid and resources to women and their children who have become victims of domestic violence.
· Dorchester Children's Advocacy Center – This advocacy group’s mission is to create safe communities for children and their families who were previously at risk or experiencing abuse.
· Humane Association of the Lowcountry – Serving all of Beaufort county, the human association runs entirely on private contributions and houses animals of all kinds looking to be adopted and fostered.
· Beaufort County Animal Services – A county-run animal rescue that is dedicated to finding loving homes for Beaufort animals.
Whatever way your family chooses to give back this holiday season, remember you are making a difference in our community as well as others’ lives! And that is exactly what the holiday season is all about.