If there is a holiday that encourages people to help others and engage in volunteering activities, than Christmas is definitely it. Contrary to what most people think about volunteering, you don’t have to give away money or goods to make the least fortunate ones happy. In fact, one of the goals of a true volunteers is to bring a smile on someone else’s face and make members of vulnerable social groups feel integrated and cared for. Whether you want to donate money, offer home objects that you no longer need or simply spend some time with them, any gesture is welcome. There are many social groups that are in need of help and no matter where you live you can find some place to volunteer. Some people prefer to help institutions such as hospitals and orphanages or keep company to people in retirement homes. However, if there isn’t such an establishment near you, that doesn’t mean you cannot help. For example, you can help any family in your neighbourhood with symbolic gifts. Some are more pragmatic and offer the family money, food or clothes. Others make their own Christmas gifts with toys, home appliances or Christmas decorations. If you have a small child in your family, volunteering is the best way to encourage him to help others. For example, you can buy ribbons for Christmas and go to an orphanage and decorate the Christmas tree with the other children.
It is common knowledge that people with special needs should not only be helped with money, but also with compassion and attention. More often than not, they feel left out from society and they appreciate it when other people want to talk to them. Volunteering doesn’t only meant sending a check – although, it cannot be denied, this is of great help – but also bringing a smile on their faces. A simple annual ritual, such as decorating the Christmas tree can mean the world to them. Most people do this every year, until the tradition loses its meaning and becomes a commercial routine. By going this in an orphanage or with a family that cannot afford a Christmas tree every year, not only will you be making them happy, but you will also rediscover the meaning of Christmas.
Volunteering is not an activity destined exclusively for well-off people or for public figures who have a reputation to maintain. Every member of society, regardless of his or her financial status can bring a contribution. There is no good or bad time for volunteering and no minimum contribution. If you have never tried such an activity before, Christmas is a good time to start, because it’s the time of the year when many people feel lonely and left out. Whether you want to donate money, buy ribbons for Christmas and decorate trees or just pay someone a visit and show them you care, any activity is welcome. Even if you might not spend a lot of money or feel like you are doing something out of the ordinary, the people you help will definitely appreciate your concern and they will remember it forever.