Often times we find ourselves wanting to do good over the holiday season, but our bank account tells us otherwise. However, there are so many ways that we can give back that doesn’t cost us a penny! Here are ten ways that you can give back for little or no money this holiday season.

 

Happy Holidays

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21

 

1. Spend some time at the animal shelter.

The shelter in Winona has many volunteer opportunities! You can do anything from office work to taking care of the animals themselves. If you don’t have the time to volunteer, you could simply drop off your old blankets!

 

2. Bake cookies for local police officers, firefighters, first responders, or even you’re your neighbors!

Everyone appreciates sweets around the holidays. It’s also super inexpensive to buy cookies. My favorite are the premade Pillsbury cookies which you can purchase at Walmart for under $3.

 

3. Volunteer to spend time at a nursing home or assisted living facility.

I know that I love the feeling of being home with my family on Christmas morning. However, not everyone gets that privilege. Whether it’s someone you know or someone you don’t, everyone deserves to know someone cares about them during the holidays.

 

4. Pay for someone’s morning coffee.

Someone did this for me last year and it made my week! My coffee was less than $2 and I still think about that act of kindness to this day.

 

5. Leave a treat or note in the mailbox for your mailperson.

The last thing your mailperson will be expecting is for you to remember them on the holidays. Remember to thank them for working long hours to make sure all of your Amazon orders arrive on time!

 

6. Participate in Operation Gratitude.

This operation works to send care packages to soldiers who are deployed and won’t be making it home for the holidays. You can donate money or even cheaper, write a letter to a deployed soldier to make their day a little brighter.

 

7. Say thank you.

To the store cashier. To your professors. To your family. Spread thankfulness.

 

8. Call someone you haven’t heard from lately and wish them Happy Holidays!

Whether its family, relatives, or those hometown friends you haven’t seen in a while, make sure to remind them that you’re still thinking about them!

 

9. Donate outgrown clothes to Goodwill.

There is a Goodwill located right here in Winona on Gilmore Ave. Many people can’t afford to buy new clothes. You could be helping out a family in need and cleaning out your closet at the same time!

 

10. Help local families in Winona and take a tag off a local giving tree.

St. Mary’s Parish in Winona is one place you can find one of these trees. You don’t have to be religious to participate, just willing to give.

 

You don’t have to have money to make the world a better place. I hope you consider doing one or all of these things to give back this holiday season. Maybe someday someone will do the same for you.

– Carly Weber ’22

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