Title and donation canThe holiday season is the perfect time to give back to your community. Giving doesn’t need to involve extravagant or expensive gifts. Instead, all you need is a willingness to share some kindness with strangers and friends alike. There are many little ways to give back during the holiday season, for all kinds of people on all kinds of budgets.

The holidays are a great time to reflect on how fortunate we are to enjoy daily comforts. Even simple things such as good food and a roof over our heads. These are things that we often take for granted, but many people go through periods of life without access to these simple luxuries. It might not be possible to fix the whole world, but there are many ways to improve the lives of your fellow humans. Here are five ways to spread compassion and joy this season.

1. Donate Some Old Things

We all have those items that we store and never end up using. Old clothing or pantry-castaways that are taking up space are ripe for gifting to the people who will appreciate them. You don’t have to wait until spring to do some deep cleaning. These cold winter months are a great time to dig into your closet, garage, or pantry and clear out some items that can be of great use to someone in need. If you have kids, old toys that are no longer being used are often treasured by children who can’t afford their own.

Donating items and clothing is as simple as driving to a local thrift store, and unexpired food items can be dropped off at a local food bank. Old toys can be donated to a local Toy Drive, where an organization collects toys to give to children on Christmas.

2. Acts of Kindness

Even if you don’t have time for a big charity project, even a small kindness can boost someone’s mental health. Next time you are out grabbing a coffee, see what happens when you buy one for the person behind you. I guarantee that you will see a bright thankful smile on their face, and their whole day will go better because of you.

Or, if a big snowstorm rolls through, you might be able to help an elderly neighbor by shoveling their driveway for them. And if you don’t like the spotlight, this is a great way to do some good while remaining anonymous! They will be certain that an angel shoveled their drive, sparing their joints and their back from that manual labor. Shoveling feels better when it’s someone else’s driveway! And you can make a game of seeing how fast you can clear their driveway without them noticing.

MSB employees pose with Mark Vital, founder of Sweats for Vets.
Main Street Bank employees contribute a portion of their paychecks to Sweats for Vets, a local nonprofit that helps supply homeless veterans with warm clothing. November 2022.

3. Clean Up Your Community

Public areas are often very beautiful, but the ground can get neglected over the years. Picking up trash and garbage is a great way to show appreciation for your community. You can help restore the beauty of your town or block by picking up the litter that has accumulated. This is a very satisfying way to give back, as you will clearly see the impact that your actions have on the landscape.

4. Volunteer Locally

Volunteering is a great way to be immersed in the giving spirit. Many charitable organizations rely on kind volunteers to help those in need. You can often find volunteer positions at local non-profits, such as food pantries or homeless shelters, and give back by lending a hand to their operations. Volunteering is a great way to give that can work around your schedule.

5. Donate

If you don’t have time, but you have money, then donating is a very straightforward way to give back. There are many charitable organizations to give back to, so you get the choice of supporting the causes that you believe in. Even a small donation can make a large difference.

A “Giving Back” Savings Account: The Perfect New Year’s Resolution?

Donating throughout the year is easier when you have a savings account already prepared for it. A savings account with a specific purpose is a powerful tool, especially if you set it up to receive regular contributions throughout the year. Even a small contribution of five dollars a pay period will grow steadily, and can total over $100 by the holiday season. If you’re looking for a feel-good New Year’s resolution, this might just be the one for you.

Explore Savings Accounts

Local Organizations

There are many local organizations that are always in need of volunteers and donations to better support their community. Throughout the year we donate to help support the local organizations that make a difference in our community. These are great places for you to get involved, whether it’s through donations, volunteering, or outreach. This year we were happy to contribute to these local entities, and we invite you to do the same. Here are some local organizations that we supported this past year that always welcome volunteers and donations.

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry

– Marlborough Community Cupboard

Habitat for Humanity – North Central MA

Thrive Support & Advocacy

In Closing

There are many ways that you can show your appreciation for your community. By giving back in little ways, you can put good energy out into the world. Your actions can improve lives and inspire more people to follow your lead. No matter what way you choose to give back, your contribution to good in this world is the best way to show appreciation for others.

Follow Main Street Bank on social media to keep up with all the ways that we are giving back.

Click to visit Main Street Bank's Facebook page.   Click to visit Main Street Bank's Instagram page.   Click to visit Main Street Bank's LinkedIn page.   Click to visit Main Street Bank's Twitter page.