Last updated on December 6, 2018 at 03:43 pm
Yes, it’s winter, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. I cringe when I see my electric bill and dread when I can’t prestart my vehicle before going to work. But that all seems trivial when I start to think about people without shelter or those unable to obtain winter essentials like coats, gloves, and hats. Here are some ideas to make a difference and 10 ways to give back this winter:
- Make a mitten tree. I’d never heard about this but I love the idea! It’s basically a “tree” made of mittens, scarves, hats, and other clothing items to help combat the cold. The key is to setup a tree in an area with a lot of pedestrian traffic. I can think of a few times when I was without a car and without a ride and walking was my only option. Something as simple as a hat makes a huge difference!
- Donate supplies to local homeless shelters. Sadly, many of these places are forgotten once the holidays are over.
- Create an animal house. Unfortunately a lot of people leave their cats behind in my apartment complex. I try to leave a bit of food outside for them and a box so they can at least have some shelter. The Humane Society has some great tips for providing shelter.
- Lend a hand and deliver meals. This time of year, there’s nothing I want more than a hot meal to keep the cold at bay. Groups like Meals on Wheels could be experiencing a shortage of volunteers.
- Donate blood. Cold weather usually means an increase in sickness such as colds and the flu. That also means blood banks lose valuable donations (you can’t donate if you’re under the weather). If you haven’t gotten sick then make an appointment with your local blood bank and donate today.
- Check on your neighbors. The little things matter! Shovel walkways and front steps for neighbors who may not be able to do it themselves. Ask if they’re doing okay with the cold weather. It’s easy to assume all is well from outside and even if your neighbors are fine, they’ll appreciate the thought.
- Donate supplies, money, or your time at a local animal shelter. The ASPCA has some great ideas when it comes to helping your local shelter
- Help a charity and get in better shape. There are a variety of charity events that are fun and help out local charities. Take a polar plunge and raise money for the Special Olympics or run/walk a 5k dressed as cupid to raise money for people with disabilities. Active.com and Running in the USA list a variety of events across the state.
- Assist a food bank or soup kitchen. While donations of food are always appreciated, sometimes manpower is an even greater need.
- Build it and they will come. Habitat for Humanity has a variety of ways you can help whether it be donating money, building a house, or even weatherizing and maintaining existing homes.
It may not be the holidays but the weather is still a bit frightful. Many organizations that help animals and people have a variety of ways you can help. All you need to do is reach out to them! What are some ways you give back during the winter? Do you have personal experience with any of the ideas we have shared? Plymouth Rock Assurance would love to hear your stories and ideas.
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