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This time of year often prompts individuals to give more than they would in other calendar months. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other December holidays get us in the giving spirit regardless of what may or may not have. With that said, you do not have to have a six-figure salary in order to make a difference for charities and philanthropic organizations. Get creative. While cash is certainly an acceptable contribution, the following can greatly benefit a wide range of people in need.


Homeless shelters, orphanages, and retirement homes are of the most important places to donate clothes this time of year given the steep drop in temperature. Donating articles of clothing you haven’t worn in quite some time is a great way to help out during the holidays. However, make sure they are clean and wearable. Donating a shirt because it is torn is the opposite of doing good.


1 in 6 Americans face hunger on a regular basis. While this statistic should be noted throughout the year, it is highlighted more during the holidays. Some people may not get to experience a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner while a majority of the country spends their time indoors enjoying a hot meal. Donate canned goods to food banks, pantries, and soup kitchens. But, don’t stick to just traditional holiday meals because it happens to be that time of year. Not everyone enjoys canned cranberry sauce. Give a variety of foods like rice, peanut butter, vegetables, fruit, and even a case of bottled water.

Handmade Crafts

This is a great way to save on money yourself, but still give to a good cause. If you are a skilled knitter, sewer, or even welder, donating handmade goods that serve a purpose to those in need can speak volumes to the people receiving them. It shows the time and effort put into doing good. Knitting sweaters or blankets for the homeless or stuffed animals for children is a fun, unique way of giving.

Pet Supplies

Humans aren’t the only creatures in need. Animal shelters across the country often team together during the holidays to promote donations for their causes. Consider sending them pet food, litter, toys, or even cash donations. It can be expensive taking care of a pet, so the more supplies a local pet pantry has for example, the more pets will receive.


Items that seem to be placed on the back burner of donating are those of personal hygiene. No matter what type of organization you may be donating these to, most can benefit greatly from products like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, toilet paper, and tissues.