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The holiday season can be a difficult time for families and individuals. Economic hardships often cause people to experience anxiety and sadness. As a result, some often need extra assistance and care during the holiday season. As Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the end of the year each approach, here are some ways you can help those in need.

Create a Moveable Feast

The cost of a holiday meal is far too expensive for many people, and homelessness is at an all-time high. A great way to give back during the holidays is to cook food and serve it to people in need so they can enjoy a hot meal. If preparing an entire meal is not possible, make baked goods such as cookies or brownies. These pastries can even be presented to first responders like policemen and firemen who weren’t able to take time off to be with their families.

Buy Gifts and Volunteer Your Time

So many people can’t afford to purchase gifts for their loved ones. Organizations like Toys for Tots and other charities provide brand new toys and other presents for many children each year. Not only can gifts be donated, but volunteers can also donate their time by helping to sort gifts and get them ready for pickup. These programs rely on the generosity of people who donate time and resources. You could be one of those people, and you could make a child’s year by practicing philanthropy!

Perform Random Acts of Kindness

This holiday season, be kind to a stranger. Random acts of kindness spread joy and can unintentionally alleviate great stress that the recipient may be experiencing. You could pay for groceries or coffee ordered by the person behind you in line. You could hand out socks or warm clothes to people in need. You could simply pay a compliment to someone who looks like they need a pick-me-up. These acts of kindness won’t go unnoticed, especially if the recipient is suffering through personal hardship. 

Invite People to a Holiday Celebration

Around the world, rates of depression and sadness increase a great deal during the holidays. These emotions come about as people think about absent loved ones, the passage of time, or the terrifying prospect of a new year. These individuals need love and compassion; what better way to show this than by offering a warm house and a home-cooked meal? Invite your friends and family over for dinner, movies, and time together, and don’t be afraid to lend a shoulder to cry on if they need it.