7 Ways for Teens (and All of Us) to Give Back This Holiday

7 Ways for Teens (and All of Us) to Give Back This Holiday

“Do you think a 5-year old would like this toy? Or maybe this one instead?”

I was chaperoning a trip to Target with dozens of teenagers. Homerooms had spent weeks raising money and now the kids were spending the money on Christmas gifts for needy kids. 

And I had never seen my students so giddy. They wanted to nail each of the gifts – pick the perfect gift for each child. That afternoon in Target was my favorite chaperoning gig of all time. These teens were oh-so-happy to give back to their community. 

During the holiday season, consumerism can seem to take over all of us. But volunteering, working to help someone less fortunate, can bring all of us back down to earth. In addition to helping your community, you can also improve your own health and reduce stress.

To make your life easier, I’ve collected volunteer opportunities for both individuals and families. Most of these are good for volunteers of all ages, but a few are specific for older teens and adults. Set some time aside and give back this holiday!

7 Ways for Teens (and All of Us) to Give Back This Holiday

give back holiday

I’m writing this in December 2020. Due to the coronavirus, many volunteer opportunities are different this year. Think fewer in person and more virtual or social distanced volunteering. Always check with your organizations and see what’s available this year.

Volunteer at a Food Bank

Due to COVID-19, food banks have seen surges in food requests this year. Also, many food bank volunteers are over 65, meaning that they’ve lost volunteers.  Find your local food bank on the Feeding America site and find out what help they need.

Organize a neighborhood drive for food, toiletries, or toys

Pick your favorite cause, put out the word on Facebook or NextDoor, and collect needed items this holiday. Just check with your organization ahead of time so you know exactly what they need and when they need it!

Deliver for Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels and other local organizations provide and deliver meals to the elderly and sick in your neighborhood. Sign up to deliver meals in your community!

Adopt a Family

Many local organizations have families in need you can “adopt” and help make their Christmas magical. Google “adopt a family + your town” to find opportunities.

Make and Send Holiday Cards 

Grab your holiday cards and some fancy pens! Make and send cards for those in need – seniors, veterans, employed soldiers, etc. You can sign up through the Angel Card Project or the American Red Cross.

Give Blood

Blood donations usually go down during the holidays. Take an hour and donate blood for those in need! Contact your local hospital or Red Cross to learn more and set up an appointment. Just a note – you must be 17 to donate blood in the U.S.

Support Organizations on Social Media

Even if you don’t have money, you probably have a social media account. Follow your favorite organizations and comment on their posts. Get the word out about what your organizations need and how people can get it to them.

How will you give back this holiday season? Let me know in the comments below!

Related Posts: 5 Ways to Stay Sane This Holiday, 3 Reasons Why Your Teens Needs to Volunteer, Why You Need to Volunteer at Your Teen’s School

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