Local animal shelters are always looking for food, shredded paper, dog walkers, and caretakers. If you are alone this holiday season, you may want to call your local animal shelters and see if you can volunteer. There is nothing sweeter than the unconditional love of an animal. You may end up saving a life, and gaining a new companion.
3) Volunteer your time to help those at a soup kitchen:
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Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Call ahead of time and make reservations to help those in need. This is more of a hands-on service with a lot of gratitude involved. Some kitchens offer clothing, and toys, so you may have another opportunity to clean out your closets. Giving to those who need more than ourselves, brings things into perspective. Remember Scrooge, who helped Tiny Tim at the end of that holiday story? If selfishness and greed in someone can be dissolved, could imagine what it can do for loneness or depression? As Mother Teresa said, "If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one". Do whatever you are comfortable with, and be prepared to feel a thousand times better. You may have found yourself a new calling. When one door closes, two new ones open.
4) Help a Child in Need:
Operation Christmas Child takes up donations of shoe boxes filled with small gifts or items and sends them to children around the world who wouldn't have a Christmas. You can also contact your local church, synagogue, civic organizations, or even your Town Hall may help to find a child in need. Contact organizations like Big Brothers/Big Sisters and offer your services as a mentor or whatever is available in your community. According to livestrong.com, "Determine which donation program is right for you based on the amount of time and money you want to invest. Programs such as Toys for Tots allow you to drop off a new toy geared toward any age level of your choosing, while Adopt a Family-style programs contain guidelines and wish lists for specific children based on their gender, ages and preferences. Some programs, such as the Salvation Army, also ask you to provide food for a holiday meal and gifts for parents." There is something special about helping a child receive a little something extra during the holidays.
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Remember, for every heart that is broken, there is someone else in a similar, maybe worse situation. Give a little bit of your heart, spread some cheer, and watch karma bring you the peace and gratitude you deserve. Have a Happy Holiday season.