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What are Some Good Ideas for Christmas Charity?

Some good ideas for Christmas charity include collecting toys or money for the needy.
Christmas charity can include working at a homeless shelter's soup kitchen.
Giving new, wrapped toys such as remote controlled cars to children in need is a great way to be charitable around the holidays.
Many family shelters offer holiday meals for those who cannot afford them.
Volunteering some time at a soup kitchen is a great way to help the needy at Christmas time.
School supplies, like pencils, are always a welcome donation.
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  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 September 2014
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For a number of people, the holiday season represents more than presents, Christmas carols and family reunions. There is also an element of social responsibility, often expressed through Christmas charity programs. Whether it is time spent in a homeless shelter's soup kitchen or contributions to a toy drive, many people feel a sense of personal satisfaction knowing they can help others during the holidays. There are a number of programs which welcome donations of time, money, or material goods.

Perhaps the most familiar Christmas charity program in the United States is provided by the Salvation Army, a Protestant denomination organized during the mid-19th century. Volunteers can agree to spend a few hours ringing bells and monitoring a donation kettle outside local stores. The Salvation Army also operates an Angel Tree, which allows participants to select cards listing the specific needs of local children and families. An Angel Tree sponsor purchases and wraps the gifts, then returns them to a Salvation Army worker who coordinates delivery to the needy child.

The United States Marine Corps also runs a charity program called "Toys for Tots." Participants in the Toys for Tots campaign are asked to purchase new toys and donate them to local centers operated by Marine reservists. The toys are eventually distributed to needy children through other established charities and local social welfare offices.

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One popular Christmas charity program is called "Operation Christmas Child," a shoebox gift ministry operated by Samaritan's Purse, a charity founded by evangelist Billy Graham's son Franklin. Individual churches interested in the Operation Christmas Child program can contact Samaritan's Purse directly to receive training videos, promotional items and other necessary materials. Participants obtain empty shoe boxes or small craft containers and fill them with toys, personal hygiene items, clothes and school supplies. These boxes are eventually shipped overseas and delivered to children following a brief religious service.

Some people may prefer to donate their time or talents to a local charity such as a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. A number of churches also provide meals for the needy on Christmas Day. Many cities have organized volunteer centers which can match a volunteer's interests and skills with an appropriate program. Even people who enjoy shopping for Christmas presents can use that skill to buy gifts for local nursing homes or rehabilitation facilities.

Participation in a charity program should not adversely affect other personal holiday obligations to friends and family. In fact, some families have been known to select a suitable Christmas charity and donate the money which would have ordinarily gone towards personal presents. Others agree to volunteer their time together in a local soup kitchen or church-sponsored Christmas meal program. Co-workers or friends could also plan participation in a local program as a way to give back to the community.

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anon270852
Post 9

Angels with Faith Ministries in Winder, Georgia has a Christmas Angels program where you can adopt a family in need for Christmas or donate toys new or lightly used,warm clothes, shoes, coats, baby needs, gift cards, food for holiday baskets, etc., or to help provide Christmas to a child or children in need. All donations are tax deductible. It's a 501c3 non-profit IRS approved charity.

Every year, they help to provide Christmas to hundreds of Georgia children in true need through tax deductible donations to the Christmas Angels Program which begins in November and runs through December, when gifts are distributed to all families who haven't been adopted or sponsored. People can choose to adopt a family for Christmas and meet and work with them directly, or adopt or sponsor a family or child through them. Either way it is tax deductible. It's a true blessing to all involved.

Their goal is to make sure that no child in Georgia will ever go without something under the tree to look forward to on Christmas morning. They receive no funding at all and rely strictly on donations to make each each year a success. They have families in need from DFCS, schools, churches, the miltary, Toys for Tots, Salvation Army and Empty Stocking, as well as from caring neighbors, friends, family members and some families come to us themselves.

To receive help, a family must live in Georgia, have a real financial need for Christmas assistance and not be receiving Christmas help from anywhere else and be willing and able to pickup their children's gifts on the assigned date.

dcampbell
Post 8

I agree there are all kinds of ways you can give to those less fortunate over the holidays including making a donation to a child or children in an impoverished country, a gesture that can really make a difference in a child's life. You can visit the Christian Children's Fund of Canada for more information about how to make a Christmas donation.

anon228565
Post 7

When you said, "some families have been known to select a suitable Christmas charity and donate the money which would have ordinarily gone towards personal presents" I was thinking of what an incredible gift that could be for someone living in an impoverished country, who could really use the support of others.

The Christians Children Fund of Canada has a gift catalogue for those wanting to give a gift at Christmas to someone less fortunate. You can give the gift of vegetable seeds, mosquito nets, or even a micro loan to help a family set up a small business and gain financial independence.

latte31
Post 6

SurfNturf-Wow, what at nice story. I know that charity donations for Christmas are at its highest levels because people are in the holiday spirit. I know at my children’s school I easily spend about $200 in toys for the school toy drive and many of those toys are on sale.

One year I advocated that the school offer charity Christmas donations of teddy bears to a local children’s hospital, but instead the school decided to donate crayons and coloring books along with books and movies for the kids to enjoy. These are great charity gifts for Christmas.

We also did a book collection for St. Jude’s Hospital which is also a wonderful organization. There are so many wonderful charity Christmas gifts for Christmas that there no shortages of charity Christmas presents to give.

I also think it is important to remember the elderly during this time. Older people living in nursing homes sometimes do not have much to look forward to as they may not get many visitors.

I know a local school sends the school choir out to many nursing homes so that the residents could have something nice during the holidays. I know when I was a kid, I did this very thing and I still remember it.

surfNturf
Post 5

Suntan12-I actually did both and it was a wonderful experience. With the Wish Granting program, after you finish a brief orientation, the office will assign you a child and you and another volunteer will be paired up to go visit the family and find out what the child wants.

You then provide this information to the Make a Wish Foundation and then they follow up with you in order to schedule the date to grant the wish.

I remember one little boy that was three years old that wanted a shopping spree with Toys R Us. So when the day of the wish granting arrived, we picked up the family with a limo and drove them to the store.

The store manager met the child and even helped us get toys for him. It was like $800 in toys. After that we took the family to lunch and drove them home. It is such a heartwarming experience to make a little boy like that happy and for one moment not have to worry about hospitals or medicine.

suntan12
Post 4

Icecream17-I know that Unicef sells charity Christmas cards. The Make a Wish Foundation also sells Christmas charity cards made by the children that are signed up for the program. These Christmas cards for charity are so beautiful and vibrant.

I know that the Make a Wish Foundation grants wishes to children that are very ill. In many cases the children were diagnosed with a terminal illness.

You can easily sign up for this charity at Christmas time. They use volunteers to become Wish Granters and general volunteers for fund raising events throughout the year.

icecream17
Post 3

Anon56770- That is a good tip. Charity donations for Christmas usually include a variety of toys for children of all ages.

Most charity gifts for Christmas ask for unwrapped toys because this is the season that impacts children the most. The Toys for Tots multiple drop off locations make it easier for people to give during the holiday season.

Many of these collection boxes are found in supermarkets, big box retailers and toy stores. I think that the post office also has a holiday drive.

I know that Miami Children’s Hospital loves to have volunteers and gifts during the Christmas holiday to cheer the children up. My children's school sings carols to the children there.

anon56770
Post 2

Your comment about participation in a Christmas charity program reminded me about this - you'll have to research it since web addresses are blocked from posts, but it's called "Redefine Christmas".

Very similar - an organized attempt to encourage people to ask for people to give a charitable gift in a loved one's name and ask that others do the same.

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