With two days of mass spending between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, having one day to give back was in good order. But now that “Giving Tuesday” is over, it’s still the season to give – with opportunities everywhere to make a difference.
You won’t have to look very far to do some good. Some of the most needy are found in our own backyards. From serving local Los Angeles food banks to helping animals in need, all that it takes is a desire to help.
Bring meaningfulness to your holidays this year by getting involved with one of these five local community efforts.
1. Organize a local food drive
Los Angeles Food Bank
Inspire your coworkers or neighbors to give non-perishable food items to those in need by organizing a local food drive. Download a free “coordinator’s kit” from LA Food Bank to get started. Set a date to make the drop-off at locations throughout Los Angeles.
If the idea of a virtual food drive sounds more appealing to your techy friends, create a fundraising page with LA Food Bank. Every dollar is used strictly for the purchase of food with every $1 donated supplying four meals.
2. Feed the homeless
Food on Foot – Hollywood
Food on Foot provides the poor and homeless of Los Angeles with nutritious meals, clothing, and assistance in the transition to employment and life off the streets. They operate a weekly meal program every Sunday in Hollywood. Whether you sign up to volunteer once or several times, they have an easy online sign up procedure that allows you to show up and volunteer.
Sign up now for its annual Christmas celebration on Sunday, December 23, and help distribute food and supplies to the less fortunate. Space is limited so early sign up is suggested.
3. Run for charity
Christmas Run – Santa Monica
There’s no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than by wearing your favorite holiday costume while running for charity in the 35th annual Santa Monica Christmas Run. Benefit Harvest Home – an organization dedicated to providing care to women facing a crisis pregnancy.
Race day is December 8 – register for either a 5k, 10k or Kids Fun Run.
4. Help get homeless pets adopted
Much Love Animal Rescue – Santa Monica
With more than 100 Los Angeles animal rescue groups and shelters to volunteer, there’s always an opportunity to help animals in need. Be part of the movement and help rescue lives – sentenced for death at “kill” shelters. Volunteer with Much Love Animal Rescue and be part of its weekly adoption fairs, placing animals rescued from shelters into forever homes.
In order to volunteer, attend its next volunteer orientation on December 2, at its Santa Monica location. No ongoing commitment is required – sign up the week prior for the weekend you wish to volunteer.
5. Buy holiday cards and support low-income families
One Voice – Los Angeles
Instead of rushing out to the card store to buy your holiday cards this season, consider purchasing online with One Voice. Benefiting low-income families in need, each card acts as a gift, providing one low-income family within the community a basket of food for Christmas.