For many of us, the holiday season is a time to give back to our communities and volunteer our time, talents, or financial means.

With COVID 19 case counts surging throughout the United States, our holiday season has already begun to look a little different than in years past. Many of us celebrated thanksgiving in smaller groups, choosing to FaceTime, Zoom, text, or call relatives rather than have our traditional Thanksgiving meals together. 

This holiday season, we are ever-adapting to new ways of connecting with others through this pandemic. How can we keep ourselves and others safe while we continue to be humanitarians this holiday season? 

The list could be endless; all it takes is open eyes and a willing heart. Here are a few ideas we came up with: 

  • Write notes to neighbors, friends, and family members you aren’t able to see at this time. Send them an encouraging thought or message-or let them know how much they mean to you! 
  • Call an assisted living center near your house to see if you can write letters or drop off care packages to residents. Ask if FaceTiming or Zooming residents is an option as well. 
  • Send a virtual kindness form through IHC’s website: Survey – Share a Message with Caregivers – Intermountain Foundation or write thank you notes to front line workers.
  • Consider gathering a group of friends or family together to donate to a family in need. There are many ways we can accomplish this, such as Sub for Santa, Angel Tree, or even finding someone a little closer to home. 
  • Most community organizations are still accepting high need items like socks, underwear, coats, gloves, and blankets. Check with your local community organizations or homeless shelters to create a small clothing drive for these high-need items.  
  • Make hygiene kits for refugee families. 
  • Volunteer to wrap presents for a stressed-out family. 
  • Be a virtual friend/babysitter. Read with a young child over Zoom. Play a game virtually while mom is trying to get a few things done at home. 
  • Sew Days for Girls kits from your home 
  • Share your talents virtually. If you play an instrument or sing, find a way to record yourself and share this with others virtually. 
  • Create Holiday Quarantine boxes for families at home this holiday season. This could include your favorite holiday books, favorite cookie recipe, coloring pages, hot chocolate, movie suggestions, etc.  
  • Perform a random act of kindness every day throughout December. 
  • Check with your local food bank to find out what the COVID volunteer guidelines are. Many people are in need of food during the holiday season, and you could help sort these donations. 
  • Contact the Utah Food Bank and decorate food boxes to spread a little holiday cheer to those who will be having food delivered to them.
  • Contact an elementary school in your neighborhood to find out if there are ways to help struggling students virtually. 
The most important way to help is to look for the needs around you and get to work! Don’t wait for someone else to tell you what to do. Find a need and fill it. 
How to be a Humanitarian During the Holidays
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