How to give back this Holiday Season

Homeless Shelters
As easy as it is to get wrapped up in the endless hot cocoa and candy canes of the holidays, it’s important to focus on the bigger theme of the season: giving back. During the cold winter months the number of homeless enlisting in shelters, seeking hot meals and communal environments, dramatically increases. Helping out local communities by volunteering, donating goods, hosting parties or drives, and building relations with residents at shelters can be extremely rewarding, especially during the holiday season.

Mary’s Place
The nonprofit, Mary’s Place, provides services to women, children, and families throughout the Seattle area. According to Mary’s Place’s website, their ultimate goal is to “empower women to reclaim their lives by offering community, acceptance, hope and dignity.” Mary’s Place not only provides those in need with basic amenities, such as clothes, shelter, and nourishment, but also presents access to employment and housing.

Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission
Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission is dedicated to providing emergency care and long-term aid to the city’s homeless population. The shelter began during the Great Depression, serving soup to the homeless of the neighborhood. Now, Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission has broadened its services and number of homeless who enlist in them, acting as a staple shelter for men, women, and children.

YouthCare is a Seattle shelter that is devoted to supporting homeless youth. According to YouthCare’s communications specialist, Brittny Nielsen, the shelter provides a wide array of services for its youth, including outreach, basic amenities, emergency shelter, housing, counseling, education, and employment training. “[We seek to] stabilize them with housing and shelter, and prepare for their futures through education and employment”, she shares.

Pocket Rice
Pocket rice is a free app that combines the fun of Trivia Crack with the giving spirit of the holiday season. You simply choose a subject (anything from geography to movies) and if you answer the question correctly, you earn 10 grains of rice that you can donate to people in need.

Charity Miles
Charity Miles converts your workouts into money you can donate to a charity of your choice. The app tracks your distance traveled each day and you earn money as you move. Biking earns 10¢ per mile and walking earns 25¢ so you can earn money for charity as you walk the halls at school!

Random Acts of Kindness
– Smile at someone in the hallway

– Tell someone how much you appreciate them

– Compliment someone on their personality

– Send a letter or baked goods to soldiers