When you think “holidays,” plans for cookie baking, tree decorating, caroling, and gift wrapping probably pop into your head. For nearly 47 million Americans living in poverty, however, the word “holidays” likely inspires uncertainty and doubt. Job loss, medical complications, and unforeseen circumstances can make the most wonderful time of year a completely different landscape – but it doesn’t have to be. This season, begin a new tradition of giving with your family with these suggestions from MBT Bank:
- Donate to a food bank- Food pantries are always in need of donations, and winter creates an especially high demand. When you pick up groceries for a holiday dinner, pick up extra cans as you go.
- Pack stockings for the homeless- Crammed with goodies from the fun to the practical, load some stockings with nonperishable food and drink items, winter gear like gloves and socks, and hygiene items like toothpaste and deodorant, all of which you can pick up for cheap at dollar stores.
- Donate old toys- If you’re loading your cart with new toys for the kids, consider helping them decide which of their old toys and games they’d like to pass on to kids who’d be thrilled to receive toys of their own.
- “Adopt” a family- there are many ways you can support families in our community. A food pantry would be a good place to start to find out about families in need and support them throughout the winter, the toughest time for families in need.
- Have family members make a donation in your name- replace one thing on your Christmas list with the wish that in lieu of a present, a donation is made in your name to the charity of your choice.
- Pay a visit to a local nursing home- the holidays can be tough times for elderly people living in nursing homes. A small visit or gift from a stranger could brighten their day, or even make their entire week.
- Make food and dish it out- cookies and casseroles can be great gifts this time of year. You can provide them for those who don’t have the means or are short on food, as well firefighters, police officers and other public servants.
If you love the holidays, give opportunities for neighbors in our very own community to feel the love, too. Let us know how MBT Bank can help you allocate your giving funds this month and beyond.