Heather and I always try to do a little good during the holiday season, and this year we’re feeling more compelled than ever to try and put some kindness out into the world. If you are like-minded, here are some ideas for how you can make an impact.
This organization’s mission is to ensure that each child in the Los Angeles foster care system receives one item from his or her wish list for the holidays. So you can buy a specifically-requested toy for a specific child. I just bought a Baby Stella doll for a 3-year-old little girl and then I cried.
Oh how we love Jenny Lawson, aka the Bloggess. For seven years now, she’s organized a gift drive among her readers. Families who are struggling can create Amazon wish lists and post them, and other readers jump in and buy items off those wish lists. Maybe the most gorgeous part is that year after year, readers who have benefited in the past come back to pay it forward to other families.
This organization puts together care packages each containing a security blanket, a developmentally-appropriate book, and a new stuffed animal for homeless children. They serve shelters nationwide, including in my and Heather’s home states of California and Georgia.
Adopt a military family for the holidays, or adopt a single active duty Marine or sailor, and help fulfill their holiday wish lists. This is a lovely way to give back to those who serve our country so selflessly.
Holidays From the Heart at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
We’ve written about CHLA before; we love that organization very much. They treat children regardless of ability to pay, and many of their patients come from financially insecure homes. During the holidays, CHLA staff identify patients and patient families who are most in need of help, then conduct in-depth interviews to generate detailed “needs lists” for each family. You can contribute by fulfilling a specific need, or simply donating a toy or making a financial donation.
If you are not in a position to buy one more gift this year, never fear! We have an idea for you too. The amazing Glennon Doyle Melton organizes a holiday event every year where readers can write in asking for help. Many, many, many people who apply are not asking for physical items. Instead, they are asking to receive letters of support or prayer. If you can write a letter, or if you’re willing to pray for a stranger, this one is for you.
Do you have suggestions for other organizations spreading kindness this holiday season? Please let us know and we will happily update this list. Because we can all do a little good.
Edit: If you’re looking for other 501(c)(3) organizations who could use your donation before the year ends, we have a nice long list in this post organized by cause. xo