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Give Your Time this Holiday Season

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During the holidays, it's easy to get caught up in celebrating and spending time with your friends and family. There's so much to do, from shopping to cooking to decorating, we all too often get wrapped up in ourselves during this time of year. But what about the thousands of people who don't have a home, or a family, or a job to pay for all those presents and treats and holiday meals? Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans struggle to make the holidays special for themselves and their families. Those of us fortunate enough to have all these things families, homes, jobs should remember how fortunate we are, and do something to help those who aren't. This holiday season, take the time to give back to your community by volunteering. Here are a few places to start.

Food bank
When you're doing your holiday shopping, why not pick up a few extra cans of food or even another turkey, and take it to your local food bank. You can find one in most any community, and they will be grateful for your contribution, as they strive to provide for the hundreds of families who can't provide for themselves. Just think how much you appreciate your holiday meals, and what it would be like if you couldn't have one why not share the holiday cheer with those less fortunate?

Shelter
Just like food banks, most communities have some form of shelter, whether for homeless, or abuse victims, or other people in need. This holiday season, between all the celebrating, gifts, and feasting, take some time to visit with the members of your community who are less fortunate. And bring the whole family make it a tradition to reach out to those in need during the holidays. But don't just bring yourselves, take old coats, blankets, sweaters, canned goods, toys, and anything else you can spare. Not only will you be brightening their season, but you'll likely learn a thing or two about humility and appreciating the blessing in your life.

Soup kitchen
What better way to spread holiday cheer than to help feed those who would otherwise go without a special holiday meal? Getting involved with outreach programs in your community is a great way to help out those in need and give back during the holidays.

Children's hospital
The holidays are a special time for most people, especially children. But what about those that are too sick to spend the holiday season at home? Pay a visit to your local children's hospital, and spend some time with the hundreds of children bravely spending their holidays battling illness. Offer to help decorate, sing carols, or read stories to the kids no matter what you're doing, being there is the most important thing. If you have young children, take them with you. Not only can they play with and relate to the other children, they'll likely learn valuable lessons about appreciating what you've got and giving back to the community.

There are countless ways you can get involved in your local community to help those less fortunate. This holiday season, why not find a special way you and your family can give back to the community?

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