With the rush of the holidays, we tend to get wrapped up in our own agendas and needs that we forget about the needs of others that might not be in our circle of family and friends. Helping and giving to others feels great. Helping and giving to others as a couple is even better. My husband and I have had many great memories of volunteering together or doing something for community members in need. In fact, volunteering at church is how we met and it even led to our marriage. I fell in love with some Christmas cookies he baked for a production at our church and it was all downhill from there.
We’ve put together some holiday specific activities to help members in need in your community that you and your spouse can do together, anytime and anywhere. All of these can be done within a couple of hours, are stress free and easy to do. Choose one (or more if you’d like!), download the available PDF’s and have fun getting generous together.
1. Food Drive
Great for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Easter or anytime of the year!
Participating in a food drive together is easy and fun to do together. Buy the non-perishable items on this list and find a church or local food bank to donate too. Not sure where a local food bank is? Here are three links to find a pantry near you.
2. Toy Drive
Great for Christmas, Hanukkah or anytime of the year!
Love children or have toys that you can donate? Your local children’s hospital, church, social services and holiday gift giving organizations are happy to collect any toys you’d like to donate. Some places are okay with lightly used toys and others require the toys to be newly purchased so be sure to double check before dropping them off. If you would like to purchase new toys, have fun toy shopping together (even if you end up playing with all of the toys and gadgets while purchasing)! Here’s are a couple of gift giving organizations that can be found in your local neighborhood.
3. Homeless Care Packages
Great for anytime of the year!
This is a great idea to do together if you live in a city. Gather this list of basic hygiene and survival necessities and place them into a plastic grocery bag. You can make as many bags as you would like! Take to the streets to find any individuals in need that are happy and willing to receive one of these care packages. Make sure to not only hand deliver your packages but stay and talk with them. For safety purposes, also make sure you and your spouse stay together (or make it a double date night and go with another couple).
4. Blankets for Homeless Shelters or Animal Shelters
Great for when the weather starts getting chilly or anytime of the year!
Have any extra blankets around the house? If they are in good condition, there are homeless shelters that would love to take your extra blankets off your hands. Don’t have any extra blankets but like this idea? Go shopping with your spouse and pick up some warm blankets to drop off at your local homeless shelter. Need help finding a local shelter to donate to? Here’s a great list of helpful shelter searches to find one in your area:
Have extra blankets that are very worn? Or are you animal lovers? Animal shelters are happy to receive blankets and towels as they use them for the animals bedding or cleaning. If you’re not sure where your closest animal shelter is, here’s a list shelter locating service:
When you’ve found blankets you would like to give, please make sure to wash them and place them in a clean garbage bag or container. Also, make sure to call ahead as drop off areas can have a different address than the actual shelters themselves.
5. Military Care Package
Great for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Valentines Day, Easter or anytime of the year!
Holiday’s can be really difficult for military members that are on deployment. They’re away from their families and country risking their lives for ours. What better way to spread some holiday cheer than to put together a care package and send it off to a military member missing home? Head over to the United States Post Office to pick up your free military shipping kit and use this list to fill it with items service men and women will love oversees. Don’t forget to write them a note and (if you want to) send over a photo!
If you don’t know any military members, find a neighbor, ask friends who might know anyone that’s been deployed or call your local church. If you can’t find a place to donate to, here are two great organizations that would happily take letters and care pages. Just make sure to follow their list of needed items and ship to the directed addresses.
We hope you and your spouse have fun getting a little creative and doing something outside of the typical date night box. We’d love to hear from you! Come back and let us know how your date night with a purpose went! Have any other ideas and places to donate to for the Tonight’s Better Together community? Comment below!