So here we are. It’s December already, and the year is drawing to a close. Whether we celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, winter solstice, or Milad-un-Nabi, many of us will be looking forward to some holiday time with family or friends. And then there’s the shopping, the parties, and the abundance of food. For those of us lucky enough to be employed, healthy, and housed, we know we can look forward to all of those things. Sadly, this isn’t the case for everyone.
As we drive or walk to work or school, run out for a coffee, or enjoy lunch at a restaurant, many of us look around on the streets of our cities and see people who don’t have these same luxuries. It can spark feelings of wanting to do more for our communities.
Why not try one of the following?
- Invite someone who lives alone (a neighbour or older relative) to share your celebration (many elderly people are alone during the holidays)
- Deliver a meal to a family in need
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen, food bank, or emergency shelter
- Volunteer at a community centre for children or the elderly
- Donate used clothing (coats and winter clothes are especially needed during the winter months in colder climates)
- Send a care package to a soldier deployed overseas (trust me, it’s appreciated)
- Volunteer to visit patients in a hospital or care facility
- Donate to a local charity
- Foster a pet from the local animal shelter
- Do something nice for a neighbour (e.g., shovel their driveway or clear the snow off their car)
- Perform a random act of kindness (my mom’s favourite is going through a drive-thru and paying for the person coming behind her)
- Help clean up at a local park or community centre
- Start a workplace or school campaign:
- Collect canned goods for a food bank
- Collect scarves, mitts, hats, and socks
- Collect new toys for a children’s centre
- Have a “wear red or green” day, where colleagues pay a small fee to wear holiday colours (with fees to be donated to your charity of choice)
- Adopt a family in town (everyone who wants to take part can bring in food, holiday decorations, new clothing, or toys)
- Adopt a school or a class and raise money for after-school activities or sport lessons
This is a great time of year to model community spirit for our children, our friends and family, and our colleagues. There are so many ways we can engage and help others to do the same. What will your random act of kindness be this holiday season?
Have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday!
Ingle’s Tip of the Month was provided by P. Lloyd, Clinical Services Director, Novus Health (part of the Ingle Group of Companies)
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