December 16, 2014


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7 Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season!

Whether it’s sharing with your immediate kin, or sharing holiday spirits with others, the holiday season is about giving. With this celebrated season of giving growing near, many people find themselves seeking opportunity to give back. For this, KUTOA has assembled a list of 7 fantastic ways to give back, in order to further provide a brighter holiday season!


  1. Save a Life by Donating Blood:

  • Donating blood has always been an effective and direct way to give back to the community, but donating blood is especially crucial during the winter season. Usually as a result of poor weather, blood drives suffer shortages in blood donations during the winter season. Everyday the Red Cross supplies over 15,000 units of blood to people in need all over the U.S. During the last winter season alone the Red Cross had to cancel nearly 1,500 donation drives, resulting in a loss of over 50,000 blood donations. So if during this Christmas season you find yourself looking for an effective and inexpensive way to give back, consider donating blood and saving a life!

    2. Donate Money to Organizations and Charities:

  • Donating money is probably one of the most diverse ways to give back. During the holiday seasons, there are ample opportunities to give back through donating money, whether it’s to a local charity ringing a bell in front of your local supermarket or an international organization. Donating money offers a unique way to give back this holiday season, because it is such an open-ended and customizable way to do so. There are thousands of different organizations the world over, all in need of cash donations. These organizations can range anywhere from the World Food Program, a United Nations organization with the mission of ending world hunger, to the organization Miracle Babies, which seeks to provide the financial opportunity to unite impoverished families and their prematurely born babies across great distances. The ability for money donations to be so personalized to such unique causes and beliefs, proves to make it a great option to give back during the holiday season.


  1. Donate a Gift to Those Less Fortunate:
  • Similar to donating money, gift donations are another incredibly diverse way to give back during the holiday season. There are, as previously mentioned, numerous organizations and charities, both locally and internationally, that provide gifts of all kinds of variety for others. One such organization is One Warm Coat, which gives donated coats to those in need. This can be exceptionally beneficial to those without coats during the holiday seasons as the temperatures drop. Another opportunity to give back this holiday season through gift donations is through the U.S. Marine Corp program known as Toys for Tots. An especially popular gift donation opportunity during the holiday season, Toys for Tots allows people to give Christmas presents to children who otherwise would go without this holiday season. Both Toys for Tots and One Warm Coat offer great ways to give back locally, but there are also great options to give back through gift donations internationally as well. Some of the most popular and effective examples of such organizations are Christian Relief Fund and World Vision International. Both organizations feature online gift catalogues that offer a variety of different gift options to donate to children all over the world. They offer gifts anywhere from a teddy bear, to clothes, to even scholarships for school or a freshly drilled water well. These organizations offer fantastic ways to not only give back this holiday season, but also a way to help provide for a brighter future in the process!


  1. Attend Local Charity Events:
  • If you’re one of the many people in the U.S. that are afraid of needles, and donating blood just really isn’t your thing, well you are still fortunate. There is a huge variety of ways to give back this holiday season without getting needles involved, and one great way is by participating in and attending local charity events, like charity marathons, holiday festivals, charity auctions, or many others options. The holiday season is an easy time of the year to find local public charity events like marathons or festivals, these events offering a fun and active way to get involved with the community and show your support. So if you’re looking for ways to give back with your family or loved ones while spreading holiday cheer, then just check your local event postings!


  1. Give out Care-Packages to the Homeless:
  • One of the greatest barriers at times to overcome in order to give back during the holiday season can be the weather. If you live in an area that’s frequently hit by winter storms, then finding a blood drive or a festival to go to could prove difficult. If you are someone who finds themself in a similar situation, then perhaps one of the best, most direct ways to give back this season is by giving to those in need during holidays. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, last year the U.S. held over 215,000 unsheltered homeless people. These people are lacking in necessary resources, and the winter season can be the hardest time of the year for these people to live, with over 600 people in the U.S. dying of hyperthermia each year. So if you find yourself in a city that’s affected by winter storms, give back this season by helping out those in need, and pass out pre-made care packages. There is a lot of DIY information online about creating great care-packages for homeless people, but the idea is simple. Just put yourself in their shoes this holiday season, and consider what you would want if you found yourself in the same situation! 


  1. Volunteer:
  • The holiday season can be an expensive one. With Christmas and New Years lining up, celebrations, traveling, and maybe even birthdays or anniversaries, it can be difficult to give back this holiday season by financial means. If you find yourself lacking in cash this season, like so many of us, simply give back with your time. Volunteering is a classic way to give back during the holiday season, and it only costs you in sweat and elbow grease. There are a variety of ways to volunteer during the holiday season, the classic way being to volunteer in a food kitchen. This is a great way to give back directly to those-in-need, and to work face-to-face with the community. Other great ways to volunteer during the holidays could include volunteering at nursing homes, hospitals, and animal shelters. There is no shortage of people and animals looking for some personal affection this holiday season. So give your wallet a break this season and give back with your heart!


  1. Plant a Tree:
  • As is becoming clear, there is a lot of different ways to give back this holiday season, but perhaps one of the most unique ways to give back is by simply planting a tree. The holiday season is a spectacular time of decoration and the ever classic, evergreen Christmas tree. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, between 25-30 million Christmas trees are sold every year. With this swing in the number of trees lost every year, coupled with the increase in holiday decorations waiting to be thrown out come January, there leads a lot to be desired for improving environmental health during the holiday season. This holiday season, give back by curbing this seasonal pollution, and plant a tree. Trees serve crucial roles within ecosystems large and small, and what better way to give back this holiday season, then by replacing your Christmas tree with another in your community or backyard. However, if you find yourself unable to plant a tree, or lacking in the time to do so, then give back by donating to organizations like Trees for the Future. Organizations like these work for environmental causes, and plant thousands of trees all around the world!



Joey Grassia
Joey Grassia


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