Christmas is now just days away and while you’ll be celebrating a holiday weekend with family and friends, take an opportunity to show your community some love too. Here are some simple ways to give back to your community and your neighbours during the holidays:
- Donate to a local charity or non-profit: Christmas is the busiest time of need for most non-profits. In addition to donating money, you can also consider donating some of your used clothing (especially winter clothing) or furniture. There are a number of organizations in Calgary and Airdrie that are accepting these kinds of donations all the time. If you don’t have a favourite non-profit or charity in mind, ask for a recommendation from friends or family.
- Host your friends or neighbours: whether your family is nearby or not, consider opening your home up to a few more people who may have been dining alone this coming weekend. It’s a small gesture that will make a big difference for those you invite and could also be a great way to get to know your neighbours.
- Volunteer your time: whether it be serving up Christmas dinner at a homeless shelter or visiting a hospital, this weekend is a time of extra need for volunteers and can be a lonely time for those without much. If you don’t have a favourite non-profit or charity, check out Volunteering Calgary for a list of opportunities.
- Donate to a local food drive: both Airdrie and Calgary have Food Bank chapters and this is the time of year when they are especially in need of food. Not to mention, Calgary and Airdrie food banks are stretched beyond normal need this year due to the economic conditions. You can donate at any time to these organizations, or you can organize your own food drive as well.
- Support local businesses: consider purchasing all your dinner ingredients, holiday decor, and last-minute gifts from local businesses. Supporting the local business and food communities helps boost our economy and keeps entrepreneurs in business.
- Be a ‘Snow Angel’: the City of Calgary’s Snow Angels program encourages Calgarians to be good neighbours by clearing snowy driveways and sidewalks for those who need assistance. Clearing some snow is a simple gesture that will be very appreciated by those you help.
A quick reminder that you can give back to local organizations and schools, by purchasing a new Genesis home before December 31, 2015. Through the Genesis Gives Joy program, your new home purchase will put $5,000 in your pocket during the holidays, and another $5,000 to the charity or school of your choosing. Plus, by helping us spread the word on social media, you’re helping us give to Nose Creek Elementary School in Airdrie. Every time you share, like, or retweet our posts on #GenesisGivesJoy, we are donating $1 to the school. See full details on Genesis Gives Joy here.
If you’re giving back this holiday season, share your experience or photos with us on Twitter.