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16 Ways to Donate a Merry Christmas!

Give the gift of Christmas on any budget

Christmas is the season for charitable giving. It's the time of year when we should all give a little to those who have less. For those who can afford it, there's endless opportunities to give someone a Merry Christmas. And for those who are already living on a shoestring budget, you'd be surprised at how much you can do.

For instance, if you meet the requirements, you could try hair donation. You've been wanting a new look anyway. Or how about making a trip to your local blood bank to donate blood? What better gift to give than the gift of life? (and that's coming from someone who is very grateful for the blood transfusion I received).

So how about it? Are you ready to put a little Merry into someones Christmas?

This amazing view was captured on Christmas Day in my home state of South Dakota by a very talented man named Jerry7171.

1. Help a Needy Family

Donate a Merry Christmas

When I was a kid, my Dad would take me to the homeless shelter every Christmas. We'd find a family that needed coats and we would buy them the thickest, warmest coats we could find. At first I didn't understand why these homeless children were getting coats better than mine. It took me a while to realize they would be wearing theirs a lot longer than I would.

If you don't have a homeless shelter, you could do the same thing for someone who's just down on their luck. Like that struggling single mom who lives next to your Aunt. Or that guy down the street who lost his job and is worried about his family. Think about how much a couple weeks worth of groceries would mean to them.

If you would like to help someone but you're worried they would refuse your charity or get upset, you could send them gifts anonymously. Or just send them a gift card anonymously and let them decide what they need the most.

2. Visit your local pediatric wing

Donate a Merry Christmas

Source

My son was in the hospital for a long time when he was in kindergarten. One of the things that made it easier on me (and more bearable for him) was all the volunteers. They would stop by periodically just to tell a joke or just to say hi or to give him a little toy. It always made the day seem that much brighter.

I can't even imagine being a child and having to spend Christmas in the hospital. My guess is that's when volunteers are needed the most.

Here's a couple ideas for how you can make Christmas seem a little better for a sick child:

  • Create and deliver gift baskets full of stuffed animals, books and small toys.
  • Go in a couple times a week and read to them as a group.
  • Help the not-as-sick kids put on a play for the little-bit-sicker kids.
  • Dress up as Santa on Christmas Eve and hand out toys to all the kids.
  • Update the pediatric library with books, board games and video games. They never have enough to go around.

3. Donate Your Hair

Donate a Merry Christmas

My Dad used to have gorgeous hair. He wore it long - past the middle of his back. I remember when I was growing up I always thought it was so pretty and shiny. I never thought I'd see the day when he cut it. But 5 years ago, he took the plunge. Not only did he cut it, he also decided not to tell anyone until after it was done! I was really upset with him until I found out he gave his ponytail to Locks of Love. He just doesn't look the same without his ponytail. But because of him, a child suffering from alopecia areata can now walk around with gorgeous brown curls blowing around her face.

If you'd like to give a child the gift of hair, all you have to do is follow these guidelines:

  • Hair must be a minimum of 10 inches long
  • Hair must be tied in a ponytail or a braid before cutting.
  • Hair must be clean and dry before it's put in an envelope.
  • Colored, permed out gray hair can be donated.

As long as you follow these guidelines, you can cut your hair off at home and mail it off yourself. Just place the ponytail or braid inside of a plastic bag, and then inside of a padded envelope. If you would like to be acknowledged for your donation, write your name and e-mail address or mailing address on a full size separate sheet of paper and place in envelope. Send it to:

Locks of Love

234 Southern Blvd.

West Palm Beach, FL 33405-2701

It takes 3-6 haircuts just to make one wig. Think about donating the next time you get a big haircut.

4. Grant a Small Wish

Donate a Merry Christmas

Have you ever heard of The Wish Upon a Hero Foundation? It's a tax-exempt non-profit organization that works to support the online community of individuals who grant the needs and wants of others making a wish. They believe in three things

No wish is too large.

No hero is too small.

Everyone can become a hero.

You can make a wish, you can grant a wish or you can do both. If you'd like to grant a wish, I'm sure you'll find one within your budget. They vary from

"Please send my son a greeting card to make him feel special" to

"Please help pay my water bill" and of course

"Please send cash".

Right now there's a bunch of parents wishing for their kids to have presents for Christmas. There's also a couple people asking for warm clothes and a heater.

5. Visit your local Humane Society

One place that always has needs is the Humane Society. They take in so many animals and most rely on donations to keep going. What I love about the Humane Society is that literally anyone can do their part to help. Money is their number 1 need, but there's so many other ways to donate. You can volunteer your time, as little or as much as you want. You could also donate supplies. Blankets, food bowls, toys and collars are always in short supply.

Here's something to think about. If you or someone you know recently had a pet that passed, what about donating their left over food and treats to the Humane Society? It's just one more way for your beloved pet to leave their special mark on this world.

6. Make a child's dream come true

The Make A Wish Foundation was created in 1980 with a simple mission. That children of the past, present and future will have an opportunity to share the power of a wish. Today, almost 33 years and over 201,000 wishes later, that mission is still holding steady.

And do you know why?

Because of people like you and me. Volunteers. They have volunteer opportunities that span all interests and time commitments. Their donors range from individuals to some of the world's largest companies. Here are 6 ways you can help:

  • Donate money. Choose to give a one time gift or become a monthly giver.
  • Volunteer your time and/or talents. They need committee members, event planners, translaters, office help, professional services, public speakers and wish granters
  • Donate Treasures. These are the common needed treasures
    • Building Materials, Computer Equipment, Hotel Loyalty Points, Hot Tubs/Spas and Shopping Sprees
    • Click here to see what urgent items are needed in your area.
  • Frequent Flier miles to help cover some of the estimated 2.5 billion miles flown each year.
  • Shop to Help in one of two ways
    • Buy and sell on eBay with the eBay Giving Works program to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation
    • Shop for products with the Make-A-Wish logo and help grant wishes.
  • Adopt a Wish by funding the cost of a child's wish.

The foundation grants an average of 1 wish every 38 minutes, so there's endless opportunities for people like you and me to help out.

7. Toys for Tots

Donate a Merry Christmas

Toys for Tots is a not-for-profit public charity run by United States Marine Corps Reserve. Their goal is to "deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens." To date, they've delivered almost 500 million toys to needy children.

If you would like to donate some new unopened toys to Toys for Tots, just enter your state and county here and it will tell you where the closest drop off locations are.

8. Bell ringers & Bins

If you see an opportunity, take it!

We've all seen them. The Jolly old Santa's standing outside the store ringing their bells. Ok. So maybe it's a guy wearing jeans and a plaid shirt standing outside the store ringing the bell. What matters is that they're both ringing it for the same reason:

The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army is known worldwide for their charitable work. Their mission is to "perform evangelical, social and charitable work and bring the Christian message to the poor, destitute and hungry by meeting both their physical and spiritual needs." Which translates to: They feed the poor when no one else can! And really, those men stand out in the cold for hours ringing that bell. Don't you think they deserve that 63 cents the cashier just handed you? Heck, throw in a couple bills while you're at it. Whatever you do, don't just walk by and pretend you don't see them.

That goes for the toy donation bins you see in front of the stores every year too. A lot of people put it off saying they'll add to it next time they see it. Then the next time comes and they say the same thing. It's not like they're asking for a hundred dollar toy. Any new toy will do. Go get a $10 doll or or a $5 stuffed animal. And as you're putting it in the bin, just imagine how happy you're making some little girl or boy.

9. Department of Social Services

Source

I know that not every DSS office does this, but it's worth finding out if yours does. Every year around Christmas, a lot of offices will put a tree in the lobby and decorate it with little cards. When you pick a card, you'll see the gender and age of a foster child that needs a Christmas present. Then you go buy an age/gender appropriate gift and deliver it to DSS unwrapped with the tree card attached to it. It's easy and it ensures that every foster child will have something waiting for them under the tree. And if you're really in the giving mood this year, you could go back again right before Christmas just to make sure there's no more cards left on the tree. Back home, I knew a social worker who would gather up all the leftover cards on December 23 and spend her own money making sure that every child got a present. Now that's dedication.

Another thing you can do at the Department of Social Services is to donate a Christmas dinner to a needy family. If you know of a family who can't afford a Christmas dinner, you can specify that it go to them. Otherwise, the social workers will find a family that needs it. And it's all anonymous so the needy family will never know who donated it. If, for some reason your DSS office doesn't do this, you can always go to a church and ask them to handle it. This is just a guess, but I can't imagine a church refusing to give free food to a needy family.

10. Visit a nursing home

I've been visiting nursing homes since I was a child. First, when I was 10, it was weekly visits to see the neighbors after they got too old to care for themselves. Then there were the monthly visits to see Granny Hayes when I was 12. At the age of 15, I started volunteering at one twice a week. It may not have been every ones cup of tea, but I enjoyed it.

All those old people want is someone to sit with them. They want to tell you stories about the good ol' days. They want to beat you at cribbage. They want to know how your day went. And they want you to listen to the latest nursing home gossip. For a lot of them, they have no one else.

So if you want to bring a lot of smiles to a lot of faces, just start going to the nursing home once a week. And if you really want to make them smile, bring your kids. Your children will instantly gain 20 grandparents and they're guaranteed to be doted on by every single one of them.

And as an added bonus, think of the lessons you'll be teaching your children by involving them.

11. Collect Coke Caps

Here's something anyone can do. Collect caps from coke branded products. Enter the codes at MyCokeRewards.com and then donate the points you receive to charity. They have many charities to choose from including:

Arctic Home

USO

Simon Youth Foundation

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Round It Up America

and

National WWII Museum.


12. Give life - Donate Blood

Source

A blood donation is the perfect gift. It costs nothing but a little time. And the rewards are unbelievable. Just think about it. You giving up a half hour of your life to donate blood could potentially mean giving somebody years that they wouldn't have otherwise had.

If you've donated blood in the past but quit doing it because of how sick you felt afterward, you may want to try again. There's a relatively new process they can use called plasmapheresis. This process separates the plasma from the red blood cells as it's coming out. The plasma is collected for hospital and pharmaceutical use. The red blood cells, along with some saline are returned back to your body. Although this procedure takes a bit longer, anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour longer than normal, it's worth it because you don't feel as bad afterward. In fact, I've been able to donate plasma and then get up and go right to work.

14. Operation Christmas Child

Donate a Merry Christmas

If you can afford to pack a shoebox full of toys, than this is the perfect charity for you. Just find a shoebox (or a small plastic box) and pack it with small toys, hygiene items, and hard candy. Then go to the Operation Christmas Child website and enter your zip code. It will show you the nearest drop off points. I figured since I live in such a small town (pop 5000) there wouldn't be any drop offs near me but I was wrong! I found 5!

While on the website, you can download a label to show if your shoebox is for a boy or girl, and the approximate age range for the toys. Once you drop off your box, the volunteers will make sure it's sent to children in over 100 countries.

They do ask that you donate $7 with each shoebox to cover shipping costs. The great thing is that if you pay that $7 online, you'll receive a special bar-code to print out and attach to the box so you can track it. You can actually find out where your shoebox went!

This years collection dates are from November 17-24. But you can send shoeboxes year round to their headquarters in Boone NC.

Operation Christmas Child

Samaritan's Purse

P.O. Box 3000

801 Bamboo Road

Boone, NC 28607

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered simple gift-filled shoe boxes to more than 69 million children. Each year, hundreds of thousands of caring people across the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe pack boxes with small toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and candy for shipment overseas, where OCC partners hand deliver the boxes to needy boys and girls.

15. Shop Local

You're probably wondering how shopping local will make someone's Christmas merry. First, let me explain what I mean by local.

  • You know that mom-and-pop gas station on the corner that charges slightly higher prices then the bigger stations? They are local.
  • You know that little knick knack store downtown? You know...the one that has products made right there in your city. They're local.
  • How about that small beauty parlor. The one owned by those two girls you went to school with. They're also local.
  • Pretty much any store with your city or county name in it could be considered local.

Why should you shop there? Because Walmart, Kmart and Target have no fear of closing up shop. But those small local businesses do. Just imagine if you owned a small business that's already struggling in today's economy. Now it's Christmas and you have to worry about employee bonuses and buying presents for your family. Wouldn't a little extra business be just the thing you need to soothe your worries?

So shop local and you could make someones Christmas a whole lot merrier!

16. Give Away a Dollar

suggested by Joan Adams

This is an easy way to bring someone some holiday cheer. Just hide a dollar somewhere for someone to find. When I think about it, the possibilities are endless. Just off the top of my head, here are some great hiding spots:

Pick a shirt at a clothing store and stick a dollar in the pocket.

Put 4 quarters in the change slot of a soda machine.

Hide a dollar between a couple cans of baby formula at the grocery store.

Drop a dollar on the floor somewhere.

Put 4 quarters in the slot of the change machine at a car wash.

Behind a couple napkins in the napkin dispenser.

Stories of Giving and Receiving - Feel free to add yours!

Some people don't realize that even the smallest gesture can change someone's life. They think only the "big" gifts count. But it's just not true. And I'd like your help to prove it.

Have you ever been the recipient of someones giving nature? Tell us you story.

Have you ever helped someone who really needed it? Tell us your story.

If you would just like to make a general comment, please use the guestbook a little further down.

What's your story?

Here's my story of giving

favored 3 years ago from USA

I have been able to bless others throughout the year. Hopefully I bless someone each day, even if it is only a word of encouragement.


Doc_Holliday 3 years ago

Terrific ideas. I love them.

I'll have to look into this new blood donation idea. After my 25th donation they gave me a blood donor's tie and asked me to not come again because I kept passing out :-)


Nancy Hardin 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

I visited this back before Christmas...and Squidliked and blessed it. I think I didn't comment because I was so struck by the different ways to help other people....or maybe I was a bit ashamed that I haven't done more. I've crocheted blankets and caps for newborns, I've donated clothing, and I've actually paid one lady's month's rent when I was still working. Recently, my resources have become limited...but I have donated to the American Lung Association, to the ASPCA, to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, and to a couple of veteran's organizations; The Wounded Warrior Project and Disabled American Veterans. I ask for little myself, because there is nothing I need at present.


anonymous 4 years ago

I found a group on Facebook called Couponing for the needy. It's a great group and we have been able to help many families that other places that weren't able to help for the holidays. The great thing about this group, the goal is to help the needy with food and household items throughout the year.


niceman91 lm 4 years ago

I enjoy donate blood and visit the kids in orphan house and give them some money.At least It helps bring happiness to them :)


anonymous 4 years ago

It is always a joy to give. You never know how giving will help another person, even when they appear to need anything. Love, time and giving yourself, the most precious gift one can give.


audreannaga 4 years ago

Because of your lense i found a great place to donate bags of toys my daughter never used thanks


Joan4 4 years ago

I do enjoy the give away a dollar a day tradition !

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    Here's my story of receiving

    LluviaDeArte 3 years ago

    I love your lens, thank you for writing it. It has inspired me. Thank you.


    favored 3 years ago from USA

    It isn't an unusual thing for me to come home and have something left on my porch. I have been blessed this season with a turkey for my husband and lots of fruit for me. God has given me good neighbors.


    dawnsnewbeginning 4 years ago

    My husband and I received a gift card to a grocery store last year just before Christmas to help buy groceries. Anonymous!


    Othercatt 4 years ago

    A couple of months ago, I had a really bad morning so I was in a sour mood. I went to the grocery store to buy one thing and when I got to the checkout, there was a long line of full carts. I got in line and was preparing myself for the 45 minute wait, when the lady in front of me told me to go ahead. Then the lady in front of her said the same thing. Every single person in line let me cut in front of them and the person in front even gave me a coupon for what I was buying. My bad mood was gone instantly and I've paid back the favor many times since.

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      Can you do it?

      Are you going to try at least one of these ideas to make Christmas merrier for someone else?

      • No
      • Maybe.
      • Yes! Definitely!
      See results without voting

      All comments are moderated.

      © 2010 Othercatt

      How are you going to help someone have a Merry Christmas this year? 168 comments

      Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you so much for these fantastic suggestions for sharing the love during the holidays and throughout the year with strangers as well as friends and family. This is a beautiful article that I have bookmarked for future reference.


      poutine 3 years ago

      I really like the idea of hiding a dollar for someone to find it. Here in Canada, it's fun as we have the "Loonie" which is a metal dollar, we do not have $1.00 bill in paper anymore.

      We also got rid of the penny.


      NausetViews profile image

      NausetViews 3 years ago from Boston

      Christmas may have passed for this year, but most of your great ideas are perfect for year round giving. If you're fortunate enough to get a year end bonus, or maybe a tax refund, giving to one I these great causes is so rewarding...no matter what time of year.


      iamraincrystal profile image

      iamraincrystal 3 years ago from Manila Philippines

      What an awesome lens! Your message is timeless and inspiring! ^_^ Merry Christmas!


      victoriuh profile image

      victoriuh 3 years ago

      Great ideas here! Blessed.


      AlleyCatLane 3 years ago

      I think I blessed this last year but it isn't showing up, so here's another blessing. All great ideas.


      aesta1 profile image

      aesta1 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I got a few packs of Stollen in a five-star hotel here in Hanoi and gave it to some staff here in the hotel as most of them have not even heard of it.


      DebMartin 3 years ago

      I love the idea of hiding a dollar for someone to find it. Back to Bless. Happy Holidays. d


      favored profile image

      favored 3 years ago from USA

      We gave a college student a party because she just graduated last week and had no family here.


      MatCauthon profile image

      MatCauthon 4 years ago

      Bless you for spreading the Christmas spirit...


      dawnsnewbeginning profile image

      dawnsnewbeginning 4 years ago

      Help someone with groceries


      Frischy profile image

      Frischy 4 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      I am glad I stopped by this lens again. I have been trying to think of some social activities for my teenager who is bored on weekends. I had not thought about volunteering as a nursing home visitor, but it would be a perfect fit. There is a place right around the corner from us. Cat, you are a genius!


      grannysage 4 years ago

      I just cut 18 inches off my hair. I wish I had thought to donate it. As a former nursing home social worker, I'd like to note that residents get lots of visits at Christmas, but very few during the rest of the year. Many people have family but there are those who have no one. Ask at your local nursing home if there is an elder without family you can adopt and visit them throughout the year.


      jethrosas profile image

      jethrosas 4 years ago from Philippines

      I read this despite the current date because I enjoyed reading this. I will do charitable works from now on. Nice lens! :)


      anonymous 4 years ago

      I keep finding your great lens tonight! this one is another good one too.


      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for this lovely, inspiring lens. Merry Christmas!


      Hedremp profile image

      Hedremp 4 years ago from Wilson Education Resource Centre

      This lens is full of wonderful ideas for Christmas, and all year. Thanks for combining so many give back ideas in one great lens!


      boutiqueshops 4 years ago

      I love what you've done here; thank you for making such an important page & sharing it. Blessed by a squid angel.


      MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      This is a truly beautiful lens. If it didn't already have a Purple Star, I would nominate it for one.


      darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 4 years ago

      I love your story about the grocery line up - sometimes when I feel bad, just going out into the world and smiling, or doing something nice for another is an instant perk. Thanks for this lovely lens in the spirit of Christmas giving. Happy holidays to you and yours, may the new year bring the best of the best.


      niceman91 lm profile image

      niceman91 lm 4 years ago

      I love this lens so much since you give many great idea how to bring some happiness to other in a small and big way during this christmas.


      suneclipsea profile image

      suneclipsea 4 years ago

      Awesome ideas


      ethical-gifts profile image

      ethical-gifts 4 years ago

      Lovely ideas- kindness at Christmas : )


      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wonderful lens.


      revenue4u 4 years ago

      Great lens. Squid liked. I plan to invite several people to share Xmas dinner at our house.


      jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 4 years ago

      Perfect Lens.


      kotagedejualan 4 years ago

      Great lens,,

      Thank You..


      kotagedejualan 4 years ago

      Great lens,,

      Thank You..


      macharia-kairi profile image

      macharia-kairi 4 years ago

      nice work


      audreannaga profile image

      audreannaga 4 years ago

      fabulous lense great work


      dolphinstar lm profile image

      dolphinstar lm 4 years ago

      What a great lens. There is so much taking in this world so it is good to give to someone less fortunate


      bossy gal profile image

      bossy gal 4 years ago

      First of all congratulations on getting a purple star.

      I will donate toys and blood to the needy people and I also have a piggy bank in which my all family puts money in it, I don't know how much amount is collected but I 'll hand it over to the needy person soon:).


      Lilly-n-Lloyd 4 years ago

      Make a wish foundation is a popular charity of ours and I'm glad you mentioned it in your lens.


      Joan4 4 years ago

      Congratulations on that beautiful purple star!


      chezchazz profile image

      chezchazz 4 years ago from New York

      Thank you for spreading the word and exemplifying what the holiday season is really about. Blessings.


      PastorSam LM profile image

      PastorSam LM 4 years ago

      Very Nice Lens. Giving is a wonderful thing.

      Blessings


      Mamaboo LM profile image

      Mamaboo LM 4 years ago

      We donated to Angel Star and It was delieveted today


      SilvaraWilde profile image

      SilvaraWilde 4 years ago

      Every year I go to the local mall and find a "Wish Tree". They have cards on them with the names of kids from local homeless shelters and other similar agencies, as well as the ages and what the child likes or needs. If I have the money to spare, I pick up more than one of the cards and get them something on the likes list. Most years I can only afford one card, but I like being able to get them something they want as well as need.


      scoobydeb lm profile image

      scoobydeb lm 4 years ago

      We are helping families have a Christmas dinner through our local human concerns! Merry Christmas Everyone!!


      anonymous 4 years ago

      good............idea


      Scarlettohairy profile image

      Scarlettohairy 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Great ideas. These are all doable on any budget.


      SiochainGraSonas profile image

      SiochainGraSonas 4 years ago

      A beautiful and well thought out Christmas lens. Thank you!


      nyclittleitaly profile image

      nyclittleitaly 4 years ago

      A very thought provoking lens. Good job. Thanks.


      oceansky lm profile image

      oceansky lm 4 years ago

      A truly wonderful Christmas lens, you have been blessed. Wonderful job.

      Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


      renstar lm profile image

      renstar lm 4 years ago

      great lens


      anonymous 4 years ago

      Super lens. I love that you kept the giving simple. The suggestions given were ideas that can easily be found in our communities or as close as next door.


      LiliLove profile image

      LiliLove 4 years ago

      Amazing lens! Thanks for sharing some great ideas! Happy holidays :)!


      AlleyCatLane 4 years ago

      Wonderful suggestions. Thanks for putting all this information in one lens. I sent it to FB and Google+, and blessed it! Also nominating it for an LOTD.


      Diane Ellen profile image

      Diane Ellen 4 years ago

      You have some great ideas. Christmas should be all about giving. It is a blessing to give!


      tnsurge 4 years ago

      Great suggestions. It doesn't have to cost to spread joy


      iPadGeek profile image

      iPadGeek 4 years ago

      Super Lens!!! Congratulations :)


      NicoleLynn711 profile image

      NicoleLynn711 4 years ago from Bethel, CT

      Amazing lens!!!


      openlook3 4 years ago

      Your ideas are wonderful. Things we take for granted you showed us how to use them in a way that is a blessing to others. Have a Merry Christmas everyone!


      Edutopia 4 years ago

      This year even more people would benefit from generous holiday giving so any amount that anyone can give will go a long way this year to helping many of us who have fallen on hard times.


      squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 4 years ago

      Wonderful lens! Here I went and nominated this for LOTD on Christmas and what do I see in the comments, that it's already LOTD today! I guess it was destined for greatness :) Great job here, you have some awesome ideas for helping others this holiday season.


      SusanDeppner profile image

      SusanDeppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      We've been truly blessed this year and have shared Christmas blessings in several different ways in the community, including choosing an angel off the Angel Tree in our mall. It was fun to shop for a little girl (we're used to shopping for boys) and can just picture her face when she really does get to have a Christmas this year. Great lens, great suggestions! Congratulations on your Lens of the Day!


      anonymous 4 years ago

      I like the spirit behind this lens, as a support worker I work with people that are a lot less fortunate than most. Your ideas are great and I also liked what Cynthia below has said as well, what is a dollar really, I am glad we have retailers where I live that collect gifts under their in-store Christmas trees, every year we always purchase a gift for those stores and the great thing about it is the the gifts really do go to the right people. As far as my work goes we have a Secret Santa and every staff member buys a little gift, and these gifts are given to our clients. I can imagine all the difference it would make if every body donated a $1, what does it buy anyway, but collectively it would do a lot of good.


      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great lens! I usually donate to my favorite charities. I've written a lens on my favorite charities to give to this season and I've entered your lens on my Featured Lens module since it's a topic I feel strongly about. Thanks for sharing your donation ideas!


      CynthiaJacob 4 years ago

      I've signed up at Click to Donate for starters, next I am going to gift $1 and I will create a lens for amputees. GIVING BACK ROCKS!!!


      fullofshoes profile image

      fullofshoes 4 years ago

      Indeed... Toys for Tots is always a favorite. Wonderful lens.


      maurissam profile image

      maurissam 4 years ago

      You deserve to have this as lens of the month. Wonderful lens


      Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

      These are great ideas. Congratulations on LotD!


      cwstocks lm profile image

      cwstocks lm 4 years ago

      What a great lens! I think it truly embodies the spirit of Christmas. Thank you.


      DebMartin 4 years ago

      What a huge heart you have. I love the story about your Dad and his hair. This time of year I give blood in December, I give time to the adult care facility and the Humane Society gets some gifts from me. And my limited shopping is always local. You've inspired me to step it up a notch. Thanks.


      pacrapacma lm profile image

      pacrapacma lm 4 years ago

      We'll give to the animal shelter this year. We got a kitten there last Christmas eve day. We'll buy a present for that. I like the idea of sending an anonymous gift card to someone we know who is struggling financially. Last year instead of buying toys for toys for tots we bought toys for my mom to give to two boys that live in a rental property that my mom owns. My mom has a kind heart and has passed it on. We've helped this family over the years. I gave them books to help get the boys started in reading. The books and time their mom spent reading with them paid off. Both boys are great readers.

      Your lens deserves the LOTD. I hope you make money from people buying things from this lens. You are making a difference in the world with the ideas you share in this lens. If everyone who reads this does one idea, Christmas will be merrier for many. Merry Christmas to you and yours!


      jptanabe profile image

      jptanabe 4 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Excellent! Well deserved LotD. Blessed


      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is a great lens telling an important story. Congratulations on the Purple Star and LOTD.


      Julia Morais profile image

      Julia Morais 4 years ago

      Your lens deserves the LOTD. Congratulations.


      bluewren56 lm profile image

      bluewren56 lm 4 years ago

      There are so many ways that we can do a little "something" to make a difference for someone else. There is always something that each of us can do, and together we can make a difference. Love the lens. Congrats on LOTD!


      KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 4 years ago

      Wonderful ideas ... congratulations on LOTD.


      KevinGeetar profile image

      KevinGeetar 4 years ago

      A lovely way to share the holiday spirit. Thank you for an inspiring lens, Kev


      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great ways to do community improvement!


      GabStar profile image

      GabStar 4 years ago

      We sponsored a new child through world vision this Christmas to make someone in another countries future a bit brighter.

      Awesome lens, well set out


      LasgalenArts 4 years ago

      It's a proven fact it is donations of time and money from ordinary folks like us give more to those in need than large corporations. We also donate to Toys for Tots, gift baskets to the elderly, food to food banks, holiday cards to troops overseas and more. Great lens. Good inspiration for all.


      Nspired2 profile image

      Nspired2 4 years ago

      This lens is AMAZING! WOW & THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR HEART! Congratulations on a well deserved LotD...outstanding!


      BuddyBink profile image

      BuddyBink 4 years ago

      You have made it very easy to make someone's Christmas. Thank You


      Titia profile image

      Titia 4 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      You so darn well earned an LOTD on this lens, it's beautiful and straight from the heart.

      I do already a lot of things mentioned, though a lot of things are done quite differently in my country. I never heard about the donate your hair, if I had, I could have send them my hair a lot of times, because when my braids start hanging in my dinner, I cut them off. My hair is growing rather fast. So next time I'll send it to Florida.


      fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 4 years ago

      I plan on donating time to a friend who nexts some extra help in life. If your looking for another great charity chemoangels is fantastic. Look it up under chemoangels.com.


      lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 4 years ago

      My family and I usually take part in our Church's activities during the Christmas season.


      DesignedbyLisa LM profile image

      DesignedbyLisa LM 4 years ago

      Congrats on the LOTD! Some great ideas here. I have forgotten about the click to help charities.


      quicpost 4 years ago

      Hi: already do the clicking to donate at freerice.com and hungersite.com from the United Nations. I also ping.fm about American Red Cross and other community service announcements when I've the time to ping.fm them. Thanks for your inspirational article. Have you heard of bloggersunite.com? They too do a lot like you and I other writers found different ways to help America and the world's communities. Thanks again and Happy Holiday!


      maurissam profile image

      maurissam 4 years ago

      By the way congrats on being the lens of the day


      maurissam profile image

      maurissam 4 years ago

      Great lens, my heart melts


      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great lens! I'll donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters, I usually donate clothes, books, shoes.


      NightMagic profile image

      NightMagic 4 years ago

      You have some good ideas. My favorite is visiting a Nursing Home. You wouldn't believe the number of people living there that don't have anyone that comes to visit them. It's really sad especially at Christmas. It's a good way to put a smile on someones face.


      MCB2011 profile image

      MCB2011 4 years ago

      I love the idea of visiting the pediatric wards and nursing homes. I would add hospitals and hospice for the dying. Many really just need a visit. I really like the suggestion of looking for opportunities, they are all over!


      maraju lm profile image

      maraju lm 4 years ago

      Congratulations pleased to see you included the salvation army who work endlessly throughout all the year but at christmas they need extra to enable less fortunate people have a better christmas. I am always happy to donate to them knowing their good work, Happy christmas t everyone.


      JimH 4 years ago

      Terrific ideas, Christmas is a tough time for many and if you have a little extra in time or money then try to help if you can.


      toldyaso lm profile image

      toldyaso lm 4 years ago

      Great lens! Around this time of year, people get so caught up in the Christmas commotion, they forget about those less fortunate. Thank you for mentioning the humane society. Animals can really suffer and should not be forgotten! It would be nice if you could mention a way to support our troops during the holiday - they deserve something, too. :)


      darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 4 years ago

      We have a homeless friend on a block corner near our apartment. We like to buy him cheeseburgers and chat with him while he eats. Our daughter can't walk past him without giving him some change and I love that, he inspires her to freely give up candy money. He always dresses nice for work (panhandling), he shaves, he's very pleasant. Nobody minds him claiming the corner with his "help a needy man" sign - he gives back with personal willingness, positivity and a shared joy. He has improved my Christmas this year ten fold :)


      lilymom24 profile image

      lilymom24 4 years ago

      What a wonderful lens with great ideas on how to help others. We bought a few toys the other day to put in the donation bin at our local hardware store and will be picking up a few more things for our kids to be donating through their school. One is a new toy or two for the toy drive and the other is supplies for the local animal shelter. Congratulations on a well deserved LotD! =)


      joanhall profile image

      joanhall 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      I love the idea of stashing a dollar somewhere. And if you tape a little note on it that says, "Merry Christmas, whoever-you-are", or something like that, then the recipient won't be worrying about whether they're "stealing" someone's lost cash.


      norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      My thing is to give when possible at any time of year. Great lens and congrats on LOTD. Now featured on Squidoo LOTD Lenses. Hugs


      CrossCreations profile image

      CrossCreations 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Absolutely wonderful lens from beginning to end, what a generous gesture in donating a Merry Christmas!


      RawBill1 profile image

      RawBill1 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Well done with this Lens, it is a well deserved LOTD and a fantastic message to get out there. The true spirit of Christmas is giving, which seems to have become a little lost in recent years. Thankfully it is still alive in people like you. Blessed :-)


      totalhealth 4 years ago

      share your blessings and share love this christmas, no matter how small your gifts are it may be very valuable to those who receive it.


      Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 4 years ago from So Cal

      Lots of great suggestions. We just did Operation Christmas Child. It was fun for our homeschooling kids and they were happy to be part of the process.


      miaponzo 4 years ago

      OMG!!!! Congrats!!!!! My nomination worked!!! :) ... I wish I could bless this twice!!!


      JennySui 4 years ago

      Congrats on LOtD!


      amkatee profile image

      amkatee 4 years ago

      My 7 year old and I will go again this year to the nursing homes taking our homemade Christmas cards to the elderly. My little girl was a little hesitant, but she loves talking to people. I'm glad you mentioned the elderly.


      ClassyGals profile image

      ClassyGals 4 years ago from Pittsburgh

      Thanks for the wonderful suggestions on how to make the holidays merrier for everyone!

      Blessed by a Squid Angel**


      anonymous 4 years ago

      If I have wings ! ...............


      nursecraft 4 years ago

      Congrats on LOTd! So deserving and such a good message!


      mrducksmrnot profile image

      mrducksmrnot 4 years ago

      Congratulations on Lens Of The Day. Lot's of ways to give and the rewards are well worth it. In our area we have the Toy's For Tot's run every year by all who ride motorcycles. It is always a huge success. I especially like the idea of shopping your local stores instead of the big business stores that have put many out of business. Merry Christmas to you for you have blessed many with the ideas here in this lens.


      Pete Schultz 4 years ago

      great lotd for the season...I especially like the idea of hiding dollars here and there. nicely done.


      YsisHb profile image

      YsisHb 4 years ago

      Congratulations for the love and care you show to people in need. Congratulations to your parents too who have given you such an example. Thank you for giving me a nudge to shake off procrastination


      Diana Wenzel profile image

      Diana Wenzel 4 years ago from Colorado

      I so appreciate this focus on _being_ the spirit of Christmas. Thank you for creating such a meaningful feature on ways to give of ourselves. *Blessed*


      delia-delia profile image

      delia-delia 4 years ago

      Congratulations on a Great LOTD! The best feeling is to give and that has to be from the heart...I love making someone or some organization happy...


      dansemusikk 4 years ago

      Great list =) Everyone should consider doing something like this in some kind of way =)


      Arthur-Christmas 4 years ago

      I should have included some of these ideas in my movie...Great lens


      SofiaMann 4 years ago

      Fantastic ideas, thanks. Congrats on LOTD.


      Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Gee 4 years ago

      This year, I plan on giving gifts to the staff at my church. They do so much more than what they are paid for doing. I appreciate what they do and want to show them.


      happynutritionist 4 years ago

      What a great list...so many ways to help that I've never thought of...thanks for the help in finding other ways to give. Perfect lens to receive LOTD, congratulations.


      SupremeOptimist 4 years ago

      Fantastic lens, thanks for creating it!


      SquidooMBA profile image

      SquidooMBA 4 years ago

      What a great lens! A group of friends from church goes to nursing homes and sings Christmas carols. It is a wonderful way to bring Christmas to those dear people. Congrats on being lens of the day! Keep up the great work...


      BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 4 years ago

      We don't always realize how much our lenses help others, but I have proof to show you this marvelous lens helps us out. Because you included BuckHawk Center, we just received a donation through your link. It came from a person in Malaysia! You have helped the animals have a merry Christmas and we all wish you the same.


      jimmyworldstar 4 years ago

      I annually donate and do fundraising drives for Toys for Tots at my workplace and local elementary school. Lots of organizations like the Humane Society and Salvation Army make it easy to give someone else the chance of Christmas so it's like why not donate?


      JoshK47 4 years ago

      What a beautiful lens full of wonderful ways to make someone else's season a bit more bright. Blessed by a SquidAngel!


      agoofyidea profile image

      agoofyidea 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! I give money to every Salvation Army bucket I see and I need to give blood again (I'm in the four gallon club) so I will sign up today. Thanks for the great ideas.


      queenofduvetcover profile image

      queenofduvetcover 4 years ago

      Beautiful lens =)


      mbgphoto profile image

      mbgphoto 4 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Great lens...blessed.


      FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      FanfrelucheHubs 4 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Congratulations on LotD. I give food to food banks, this year more then ever there is a lot of people in needs.


      annieangel1 profile image

      annieangel1 4 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      great lens, well deserved LOD


      Frischy profile image

      Frischy 4 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      These are great ideas! I would like to add another place people can donate gifts for needy children: shelters for abused women & homeless shelters for families. Staying in a shelter is very stressful for a child, & it is especially difficult during the holidays. If donating to a battered women's shelter, avoid giving gifts with violent themes, such as guns or games involving hitting or blowing anything up. Most of the kids are traumatized by violence they have witnessed. Their moms also appreciate small gifts such as warm hats & gloves, make up, colorful socks and personal care items. I have seen the smallest gifts give tremendous comfort to people in these trying circumstances. **Blessed**


      tssfacts 4 years ago

      All of these are great ways to "share the love". I have already done several of these and now have other ways to add to my list. Congratulations on LOTD and don't you just love those purple stars?


      pawpaw911 4 years ago

      Great ideas. Nicely done. Great idea for a lens.


      Joan4 4 years ago

      And congratulations on Lens of the Day!


      Joan4 4 years ago

      Wonderful ideas!! Wouldn't it be great to do a little for each one? wow! what a challenge that would be! Thank you for mentioning Todd Silva's Give Away a Dollar a Day! It is a super personal program that anyone can do and make a difference!


      mowug1776 profile image

      mowug1776 4 years ago

      wow, congrats


      TotallyDriven LM profile image

      TotallyDriven LM 4 years ago

      Informative article and it is very helpful for those searching for Christmas.


      diannejones lm profile image

      diannejones lm 4 years ago

      Great I idea, very nice lens. I knit all the time for various charities. Thanks for sharing more ideas of how to help those less fortunate.


      Heather426 profile image

      Heather426 4 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Awesome Christmas lens and LOTD! Congrats!


      pkmcruk profile image

      pkmcruk 4 years ago from Cheshire UK

      Many congratulations on a well deserved LOTD!


      LaineA profile image

      LaineA 4 years ago from Missouri

      You have some great suggestions. I have looked at the website to help grant a wish and think I have found a wish that my kids could fulfill. I think it is a great way to get them into the Christmas spirit.


      anonymous 4 years ago

      Congrats! I donate my time to helping others in my community, so your lens is truly a favorite of mine. Thanks for sharing it.


      Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Hardin 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I donate all year to the Salvation Army, I give to Toys for Tots at Christmas, and I'm a member of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary to which I donate several times a year. I love this lens and feel it makes the best Christmas gift suggestion I've ever seen. Thank you so much for this. Blessed.


      OhMe profile image

      OhMe 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Beautiful lens and congrats on your well deserved Lens of the Day! Our church has a Magi Tree with paper stars that have a gift suggestion written on each. Members take stars off the tree, purchase the gift, wrap it with the star on top and these are distributed to over 100 needy children. Our local golf course raised close to $2,000 at a charity golf tournament to help two families with power bills, rent, clothes, food and toys. I think I have seen the spirit of giving in our community more this year than before but this has always been a close, caring little town.


      miaponzo 4 years ago

      Lovely sentiment.. Blessed!


      Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle Mclaughlin 4 years ago from McLaughlin

      This is the embodiment of the spirit of Christmas is giving! Squid Angel Blessed!


      anonymous 5 years ago

      You have some really good ideas on this lens. I've already visited the Click To Give website!


      Countryluthier profile image

      Countryluthier 5 years ago

      Nice ideas for many way to make Christmas a little bit Merrier. Thanks for sharing a lens with ways of giving most of us never even think. A ponytail is a great thing to donate. Great lens.


      bernie74 lm profile image

      bernie74 lm 5 years ago

      I try to donate at least 6 gifts to charities each year, although I have done up to 20


      bestgiftz profile image

      bestgiftz 5 years ago

      Great lens! I love your ideas.


      smithlights profile image

      smithlights 5 years ago

      I've never heard of Wish Upon a Hero. So stinkin' cool!


      archangelptx profile image

      archangelptx 5 years ago

      I know it's out of season at the moment, but a lot of these ideas I am adapting into philanthropy events for my fraternity--we never thought of doing a blood drive, for instance.


      javr profile image

      javr 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Very good Christmas spirit ideas. Congratulations on winning the Purple Star. This lens has been blessed by a Squid Angel.


      nebby profile image

      nebby 5 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on your purple star. I don't know if you are familiar with the Angel Tree project, but every year we would pick an angel off of the tree & would fulfill their Christmas Gift wish. We also would bake tons of Christmas cookies & cupcakes & bring them down to the local shelter the week after Christmas, so it would keep them cheery a week longer.

      Great lens & ideas.


      anonymous 5 years ago

      A well deserved Purple Star sits pretty on this lens. Great ideas on how to donate to the needy.


      deyanis profile image

      deyanis 5 years ago from Oz

      Congratulations on your purple star. I didn't know that we can donate our hair. That's such a great idea since I have a very thick hair and many times I was thinking of donating my hair. I'll have a look if we can do it in Australia.


      budwalker lm profile image

      budwalker lm 5 years ago

      wow ! congrats with the purple star :D


      Paul Ward profile image

      Paul Ward 5 years ago from Liverpool, England

      I've added an option to the list above: for some years we haven't sent many cards - the money goes to charity instead. You can pick a favourite or be inventive -- two years ago we split it between two local Big Issue sellers who we chatted with, for example.

      I know cards help keep in touch but we send letters now instead. For peole who can't handle the charity idea, like an 80-year old great aunt we still send a card -- and it's from Oxfam.


      reflectionhaiku profile image

      reflectionhaiku 5 years ago

      Congrats on earning Purple Star for this lens of giving -


      mom-247 profile image

      mom-247 5 years ago

      I love this lens! What a fantastic collection of ideas for the holidays. I'm going to look into taking my children to visit people in a nursing home. Thanks for the great ideas.


      BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 5 years ago

      What a great lens for the holidays! Someone as generous as you would, of course, think of all these wonderful ways to help!


      brandonmotz lm profile image

      brandonmotz lm 5 years ago

      I really like the idea of donating blood, but these are great ways to give a stranger a merry christmas.


      MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 5 years ago

      BTW, I have donated hair twice, with about 2 1/2 years in between. Boy talk about easy! I recommend that for little girls also, as a way to start them giving something that matters. Just make sure their hair is long enough that it isn't too traumatic to them!


      MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 5 years ago

      Good job!


      ajgodinho profile image

      ajgodinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is a long list of great ideas to gift people in need during the holiday or otherwise. I promote the click-to-give sites all throughout the year because it's such an effective and easy way to give. I've created a few lenses on many of the causes. Great job here - **Blessed by a Squid-Angel**


      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      I once worked for a company that donated gift baskets of food and other necessities at the holidays -- got to deliver them a couple of years to needy families -- it was quite a humbling experience.


      poutine 6 years ago

      Excellent ideas for giving.


      CR2000 6 years ago

      Christmas is for sharing and give joy to other , love your lens :)

      Thank you for sharing !!!!


      brandonmotz lm profile image

      brandonmotz lm 6 years ago

      Wow! The are all a bunch of great ways to give a stranger a merry Christmas. One that really stood out to me was the American Idol one. I had no idea that they did that!

      I love Christmas! It really brings out the spirit of giving in people.

      Thank you for featuring my click to donate lens. Free charities need all the support they can get.


      darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Perfect lens for what we can do to help on November mental health blessings. Angel blessed.


      BelindaBlevins profile image

      BelindaBlevins 6 years ago

      I like those idea Thanks


      Othercatt profile image

      Othercatt 6 years ago Author

      @LisaAuch1: Thank you for the blessing! Now you make me feel bad about not giving blood! I have an unnaturally high pulse rate that's made it impossible for me to give blood for the last 3 years. It's been hard because back home I was a regular 5 week donor and an emergency donor. Now I just feel useless. lol


      Othercatt profile image

      Othercatt 6 years ago Author

      @glenbrook: Thank you so much for reminding me of this one, I actually think it's one of the most important on the list. When my kids were little, I used to take them to the nursing home on Halloween. It's safer, warmer and just a win-win all around. Thanks again!


      LisaAuch1 profile image

      LisaAuch1 6 years ago from Scotland

      Well Done Cathrine, this really got me thinking too! I love that you put in Give Blood, something we should all do more of! Blessed by a very humbled Angel!


      glenbrook profile image

      glenbrook 6 years ago

      Great lens with lots of good ideas. One I would add is visit a nursing home. Lots of old people with no family left get very lonely over the holidays.

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