The Thanksgiving leftovers in the refrigerator have all been consumed, the neighborhood is decked in lights–the Giving Season has already begun!
Instead of simply giving this holiday season, why not give back to the people and organizations that spend the whole year giving to their communities? We have a couple
- Give to a food bank
There are more people in your community than you know who are struggling to make ends meet this winter. Give their holidays a boost by donating to your local food bank. Feeding America and the California Association of Food Banks make it easy to find one near you. There are some differences in what foods are accepted varying from bank to bank, so be sure to check before donating. The general guidelines, however, say to donate foods that are non-perishable, and that food like holiday sides (canned pumpkin, sweet potatoes, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and dry macaroni), shelf-stable protein sources (canned tuna, salmon, or chicken;canned or dried beans; canned soups, stews or chili; peanut butter, nuts, and trail mix), and pantry staples (rice, oatmeal, pasta, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, canned vegetables, cooking oils) are always in high demand this time of year.
2. Buy items to donate
During the holiday season, many schools, shelters, and other non-profits collect items that will be distributed or used within the organizations. Check out the causes near and dear to your heart to see if they have a Wish List. You can oftentimes buy items and have them shipped directly to organizations. Many fire stations collect new toys to distribute for the holidays (if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, check here) Regardless of gender, the items that many shelters need are: bottled water, new underwear and socks, gift cards from chain stores for shoes, personal grooming products such as deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, brushes, tissues, toilet paper, feminine hygiene, travel size soap and shampoo, baby wipes, sleeping bags and reading glasses.
3. Donate while doing your holiday shopping
If you prefer to do your good deeds online, Amazon has a simple way to give back while shopping for gifts. Amazon Smile partners with almost one million non-profits and charities to donate a portion of sales from their site to worthy causes. You can even give to Music in Schools Today every time you purchase from Amazon by purchasing through the Amazon Smile site.
4. Remember Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday is a movement to create an international day of charitable giving at the beginning of the holiday season. The Tuesday after Thanksgiving, people donate to non-profits and charitable organizations. Last year over $274 million dollars was donated worldwide on Giving Tuesday, up from $10 million when Giving Tuesday debuted in 2012.
If you would like to give to Music in Schools Today this holiday season and gift the gift of music to Bay Area students, you can make a donation here, or by sending a check made out to “Music in Schools Today” to:
Music in Schools Today
582 Market Street, Ste 213
San Francisco, CA 94104
How do you plan on giving back this holiday season? Let us know in the comments!