The holidays are definitely a time for giving, and while most of the time we are giving to people we know, this is a great time to look outside of your circle of friends and family and give to others as well.
Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.
Here are some fun ways to pay it forward or just give back this holiday season.
Volunteer at a Shelter
Even if it’s just for an hour, volunteering at a shelter at least once this holiday season is really worth your time. Whether it’s organizing files they need sorted, helping with the residents of the shelter or even preparing lunches, the time you spend there will help you reflect on how blessed you are to experience the holidays the way you do. It can also open your eyes to the need in your community and can inspire you to volunteer more often throughout the year.
Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
Soup Kitchens are a great place to volunteer around the holidays. Food is vital for our existence yet when you don’t have to worry about where your next meal is coming from, and eating is something you don’t think twice about, it’s easy to take it for granted. But at a soup kitchen/food shelter, it’s different. You’ve never seen true gratitude until you serve there. So if you get the chance this holiday, especially if you’ve never served at a food soup kitchen before, you’re in for a treat.
Become a Salvation Army Bell Ringer
Last year I was given the opportunity to become a Salvation Army Bell Ringer with my Kansas women’s basketball teammates, and it was so much fun. It’s awesome to put a smile on someone’s face or to simply spread holiday cheer to strangers. But it’s even better doing it for a good cause.
“Pay” It Forward
This is a fun and extremely practical way to spread joy and good spirits in your daily life. Paying it forward can be executed a number of ways, but my favorite way is by paying for someone in a way they can’t pay you back. This might be paying for the person behind you at the Starbucks drive through, taking up the tab for the couple dining across the room from you at a restaurant, giving your waiter or waitress a generous tip… the list goes on. It really just comes down to doing something nice for someone who you don’t know.
One of my favorite random acts of kindness comes from a good friend and old teammate. She left just enough money in a vending machine for whoever wanted a snack to get it without having to pull from their own pockets. It was pretty awesome, and I’m sure whoever got to it first was pleasantly surprised and hopefully inspired to do something similar for someone else.
I hope this blog post inspired you to get out and do something awesome for someone you don’t know this holiday season.
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Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life!