Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Give Back this Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time of giving, and giving back to the community and others in need can be a rewarding and fulfilling way to spend your time or money. But during the holidays, there are some especially important causes to give to, from the charities collecting donations in front of grocery stores to the families in need of help to give their kids Christmas gifts. There is no wrong way to give back this season, and the following ideas can help you to get started.

Donate to a Charity 

Donating money to a charity or school is one great, effective way to give back. It doesn’t take much time to make a donation, so this can be a good choice if you have a busy schedule but still want to be able to make a difference during the holidays.

If you’re considering donating to a charity, you’ll want that money to go to good use, so it’s important to make sure that the charity is trustworthy and that they’ll use your money responsibly. Look for a charity that has a good reputation and that can provide detailed information about their financials and specifically how donations are spent. Verify that the charity accepts tax-deductible donations, since this will indicate that they have gained approval by the IRS to operate as a nonprofit. You can also read reviews and reports on charities on sites like Charity Watch.

Adopt a Family for Christmas

Many communities run “adopt a family” volunteer opportunities where you can buy Christmas gifts for a family or child in need. To find these opportunities in your community, check with local nonprofits, community centers, and your town hall.

When you sponsor a family for Christmas, you’ll often receive a wishlist from the family that includes some gift items they’d like to receive, but also potentially some necessities that they need. Depending on the size of the family, you may want to get coworkers or additional people to go in on the sponsorship with you so you can stay within your budget.

When buying gifts for your sponsored family, remember gift-giving etiquette basics. Think about the recipient when choosing a gift, and look for a gift that’s appropriate for their age, interests, and needs. Avoid self-improvement gifts, which can potentially offend the recipient. Personalized gifts are always a great choice, and depending on the amount of information you have about the family, you may be able to purchase items like mugs or stockings that are customized with the recipient’s initials or first name.

Make sure that you closely follow the directions given to you. Some organizations prefer that you wrap and label gifts with the recipient’s name, while others want to receive the gifts unwrapped and will take care of the wrapping themselves. For families to receive the gifts by Christmas, you’ll probably be given a deadline of at least a week before December 25th, so be sure that you plan and get your shopping done early to meet that deadline.

Get the Family Involved

Look for ways to give back where your whole family can get involved. IFCS offers many ways for for everyone to get involved volunteering.

Many of these volunteer opportunities may have work for both children and adults, meaning you can get your whole family involved. Volunteering as a family can be a bonding experience, and it makes for an important family tradition, too. When you get your kids involved in giving back to the community at an early age, you can remind them that the holiday season isn’t just about getting gifts, but about giving them, too. You’ll foster a sense of generosity in your children and help your local community at the same time.

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Integrated Family Community Services is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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IFCS’ Tax ID # 84-0579740