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Great Ways to Donate for Christmas with Charitable Organizations

Updated on December 4, 2013

Christmas Charity Gift

I can't wait until Christmas morning each year when my kids get up and discover what Santa has left under the tree. I feel very blessed to have a home to live in, food on the table and money to buy Christmas presents. I realize that not all families are as lucky as mine is to do this. Ever since I was a child, giving back has been very important to me.

During the holiday season, consider donating time, money or gifts to give others a chance to have a wonderful Christmas. Donating can be so easy. Maybe it's just some slighly used toys or possibly a few hours of time. Perhaps you have an old children's jacket hanging around. Even a can of food can help. Please take the time to explore ways to give back during the holiday season.


Volunteer Work with Animals

The holidays are a popular time when many people like to get new pets. Often these pets come from adoption clinics that can be found at stores like Petco and Pet Smart. If you enjoy working with animals, you might consider volunteering your time at an adoption clinic. Should you really want to help the animals, but just don't have the time, the rescue groups that put on the clinics can always use financial help or items to help take care of the animals while they're waiting to get their forever homes.

An additional option is to become a foster parent to an animal that's waiting to be adopted. It could be taking care of a cat, bunny rabbit or dog. It might even be opening your home to a litter of kittens. As you can see, there are many different ways that you can help animals during the holiday season.

Kittens photo by chelle at morgueFile.


Donating Food for Christmas

Many families during the holidays would not have the opportunity to have a holiday feast if it weren't for the generosity of others who donate food. Check to see if there are any local canned food drives going on. Most likely, you currently have something in your cupboard that could be donated. Even a single can will help. Some suggested items include:

Chicken broth



Pasta sauce

Cranberry sauce

Meal in a can such as ravioli

Fruit cocktail



Baked beans



These are merely suggestions to get you started. Many more food items are available in cans that would certainly be welcomed.

Photo by Seth Ilys at Wikimedia.


Toy Donations

Each Christmas I like to donate toys for children. Sometimes I do this through Toys for Tots. Another way I donate is through the giving trees at my kids' schools. This is particularly prevalent in the local elementary schools. Here is how it works.

You select an item for a particular child that is being requested. It could be a toy for a four-year-old girl or a book for a 10-year-old boy. If you prefer something more practical, check to see if any of the children are in need of clothing items such as new pajamas or socks. Sometimes, family gifts are requested. It has been previously recommended to me to pick out a game that would be suitable for all family members. One thing I really like about giving trees is that I know the presents are going to one of my kids' schoolmates.

Toy photo by seemann at morgueFile.

Family Games Ideas

If you want to donate a family game for Christmas, here are some suggestions. If it helps any, Sorry! is a particular favorite in our household.


Donating Time to Charity

While charities rely on donations for help, they often rely on volunteers as well. The Salvation Army is well known for its charity work and really needs extra volunteers during the holidays. If you have a local Salvation Army in your area, stop by to see what volunteer opportunities are currently available.

Have a soup kitchen or food pantry in your area? Check to see if they need any help in serving food for the holidays. The holidays can be a very lonely time for people in hospitals or retirement homes. Call ahead to see if you can simply visit some of the people there. Just having someone to talk to can brighten a person's day.

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Robert Keilman at Wikimedia.

Christmas Cards for Charity

Here's a simple way to donate for the holidays. Simply purchase some Christmas cards. What I like about these cards is that you get to pick the charity.


Donate to Charity for Christmas

When you're out and about shopping during the holidays, check out the stores that you are visiting to see if they are taking holiday donations. Many times, grocery stores will have some type of container that customers can add a food donation to.

I was at my local Dollar Tree the other day and they had a set up whereas you can donate an item for Christmas. Think about it. For just one dollar, you can give a person the opportunity to receive a Christmas present that otherwise, that person wouldn't get without your generosity.

Also be on the lookout for holiday donations for our troops that are serving not only in the United States, but in countries around the world to help keep us safe. Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year. I can't wait to open the presents a tree. At the same time, I look forward to giving to others to help them have a wonderful holiday season.

Photo by jduguid at morgueFile.

Holiday Donations

Will you donate for Christmas?

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    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @TransplantedSoul: Very true. Just the smallest thing can help.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 4 years ago

      There are so many great ways to donate at Christmas. Every bit makes a difference.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      I was so happy to be able to give this lens my blessing. What is Christmas without charity? We have always told our adult children that one option they have when choosing a Christmas gift for us is to donate or volunteer with a charity in our honor. We are as thrilled by that gift as anything else we could get. Thanks for writing such a wonderful article!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Felicitas: So true.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @takkhisa: Every little bit really does help.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @MostWantedTech: So many people need helps during the holidays.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @SubheSaadik LM: Thanks for visiting.

    • Felicitas profile image

      Felicitas 4 years ago

      This is a really, really, nice lens. It shows that the more you help others, the more grateful you are for what you have.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 5 years ago

      Great lens, i think we should donate to helpless people everyday if we can effort that. It is just our duty to help everyone.

    • MostWantedTech profile image

      MostWantedTech 5 years ago

      Smashing lens! Christmas can be a very hard time for many and help is always appreciated.

    • CoolFool83 profile image

      CoolFool83 5 years ago

      This is an extremely thoughtful lense!

    • SubheSaadik LM profile image

      SubheSaadik LM 5 years ago

      Great new ideas. Thanks for sharing.

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 5 years ago

      Donating time working in a food bank is always a good idea especially around Christmas

    • profile image

      halloweenprops 5 years ago

      Great ideas, and well deserving of that Purple Star!

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      Christmas is all about giving. We should never forget that. And we don't have to give only things, we can donate our time, our skills...

    • tenoclock profile image

      tenoclock 5 years ago

      Great ideas for making the best use of you are able to offer to help others benefit too and share in the spirit of Christmas!

    • Two Crafty Paws profile image

      Two Crafty Paws 5 years ago

      Those kitties are just so adorable! There is nothing more grateful than an adopted kitten. Foster homes are such a great idea. It is always great to give something back. This year I started collecting clothes to give to charity - I couldn't believe how little effort was needed to gather a huge amount of wearable clothes - I now just need to sort them and give them. Will be doing so every year. It does not take a lot to make a difference.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      Thanks for making a case for animals who need homes and sponsorship through rescue groups. We've got 5 foster kitties, including one who is blind, and there are hundreds more in the L.A. shelters. I hope more people open their hearts this holiday season.

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      Each of my kid's schools always has a charity drive of some sort. And our local grocery store always has a tree where you get a particular gift that someone has asked for. I like to do that one, because I really want needy kids to get something special for Christmas.

    • profile image

      bossypants 5 years ago

      What a kind reminder of the need to celebrate our own abundance by helping others!

    • kristalulabelle profile image

      Kristen 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Fantastic lens! A great reminder that there are those out there in need that we can help around the holidays. Sometimes its really easy to lose focus on the things that really matter. :)

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Christmas rolls around so quickly and it will be arriving again soon. Thank you for once again reminding folks that there are so very many charities which need help and especially during economic slow downs. The animal shelters are always one of my favorite charities to contribute to around Christmas.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Angels with Faith Ministries 501c3 non-profit charity kicks off our annual Christmas Angels Program on November 1st to help provide Christmas,warm clothing & Holiday food baskets to needy children & their families in Georgia.You can adopt a family for Christmas & choose to meet them & work with them personally or as a secret Santa through us or donate Toys (new & lightly used),Bikes,baby needs,warm clothing,Food for Holiday Food baskets,gift cards,computers of any kind,electronics,gifts for older children,or make a tax deductible monetary donation via paypal on our websites or by mail or in person to help provide for 100s of children in need this Christmas.We receive 100s of families each year sent to us once the bigger charities are full or stop taking applications DFCS,Toys for Tots,Salvation Army,goodwill,Empty stocking,operation Christmas Child,The miltary,churches,Schools ,caring neighbors etc.Last year we provided Christmas to over 300 families & this year we expect many many more but since we receive NO funding we rely strictly on the tax deductible donations of Angels.ALL donations are compeltely tax deductible for every cent that you spend & 100% of all donations go directly to helping those in TRUE need.We are all volunteers working to make a difference & have 0 overhead costs,we have 2 websites built & run by our volunteers & We try very hard to not turn anyone in true need away as long as they live in Georgia (any county),are not receiving Christmas assistance from anywhere else(we do check after isuues last year) & are in true financial need of christmas help but all families who are not adopted or sponsored by the week of Christmas are required to come to Winder,Georgia 30680 on a specified date to pickup thier families Christmas.We have volunteers available to pickup donations in Barrow county,Jackson County,Gwinnett county,hall county,forsythe county,Athens,Atlanta,Cobb county etc all over Georgia.Be a Christmas Angel This Year & help us Make a Difference in the lives of children who truelly deserve our help.We are a federally approved charity EIN number 27-1972461.Thank you & GOD BLESS!!

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 5 years ago

      A great lens and fantastic reminder about directing donations to worthy causes

    • profile image

      Ajeet 5 years ago

      What a noble idea :)

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 5 years ago from Washington KS

      This is a wonderful lens, sensible and compassionate.I like the way you think.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens with a good cause. God bless!

    • hsschulte profile image

      hsschulte 5 years ago

      Toys for Tots and Samaritan's Purse are 2 of my favorite Christmas donation programs.

    • Joycevoice profile image

      Joycevoice 5 years ago

      Go to a senior center and visit with residents. I really like your great idea of working with animals.

    • dotpattern profile image

      Pat Moire 6 years ago from West Village, New York City

      My client has been donating presents to needy families for years, and it's such a generous thing to do. He goes somewhere to open the letters with a group of people and they get to pick which people they want to get presents for. Do all the shopping and deliver wrapped presents to the central clearing house. That is the Christmas spirit, and I'm going to do the same this year.

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 6 years ago

      Great lens, so many people think the only donations that can be made are of money, but as you show here, there are so many ways to help and donate!

    • profile image

      boutiqueshops 6 years ago

      WONDERFUL job & great ideas here; blessed by a squid angel!

    • Art-Aspirations profile image

      Art-Aspirations 6 years ago

      Volunteer to take a shift on a Salvation Army Christmas Kettle. A big part of the work they do in helping the homeless is funded by the Kettle campaign. It's easy. Smile at people and wish them Merry Christmas. Ring the bells if you want to, or not. Two hours later you're done and you've been a big help.

    • CelebStyle LM profile image

      CelebStyle LM 6 years ago

      We donate through the school (they do hampers of food & gifts), the community (scouts collect for foodbank) and I always make a point of stopping by a Salvation Army kettle pot.Merry Christmas!

    • yourselfempowered profile image

      Odille Rault 6 years ago from Gloucester

      Lovely lens - it's a great tradition to add into the regular family Christmas traditions, each family member giving something to someone they don't know, whether it's physical gifts, money, or time. And you have some fabulous suggestions here! Blessed. :)

    • profile image

      mumsgather 6 years ago

      Christmas is about giving, so theres no better time to donate!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great ideas I love these posts that are more about giving than taking. I think every body can donate something even if it is just time

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 6 years ago from McLaughlin

      I love articles on ways to donate and give to charity! Squid Angel Blessed!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hi! I've done a lens on my favorite charities and ways to give this Christmas and have added your lens to my featured lenses module. Thanks for a great lens on a topic I truly believe in!

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 6 years ago from Western Mass

      wonderful tradition; thanks for the suggestions. merry christmas!

    • profile image

      baby-strollers 6 years ago

      It's a very nice idea, and Christmas time is the ideal time to start.

    • profile image

      baby-strollers 6 years ago

      It's a very nice idea, and Christmas time is the ideal time to start.

    • earthybirthymum profile image

      earthybirthymum 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great Lense! Merry ChristmasCheers Grace

    • Mistl profile image

      Mistl 6 years ago

      Donating is such a lovely thing to do when you do have a little bit to spare. Great lens, thanks for reminding us all! :)

    • profile image

      BeyondRoses 6 years ago

      Love your ideas to donate during the holiday season, of time and other donations. Donations are always welcome at animal thrift shops, of items to resell for the benefit of the shelter animals. I recently donated several hundred movies with a turntable stand for display, to our animal thrift shop.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 6 years ago

      I always try to bake whenever possible for those who don't and appreciate it; I'm unemployed this year so I'm kinda limited to what I can do monetarily. I usually buy a small toy for the local Toys For Tots effort.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      A great lens. Donating is a part of Christmas for many people.

    • profile image

      sojourner-1 6 years ago

      I drop my loose change from my purchase in the Salvation Army donation bucket after shopping. Sometimes it's a little and sometimes not, but I commit to that during the entire season.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

      donations should be done not only during christmas, should be all-year-round.

    • cdevries profile image

      cdevries 6 years ago

      I love the red kettles of the Salvation Army and try to give a little at every one I can. There are often coat drives at schools or sometimes you can donate to Secret Santa baskets for needy students. Donate old (usable) clothes to Good Will. And bookstores often have buy-a-kid-a-book sales.

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 6 years ago from Valencia, California

      Thanks for suggestions, donate all the time :-)

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 6 years ago from California

      Excellent suggestions for donations. Everybody can spare a hour of their time or a can or two of food. There are so many things person can do to help animals and people throughout the year. Thank you for sharing your ideas. Blessed. Bear hugs, Frankster

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      I like to donate to the salvation army and a few others.