It feels good to find ways to give to others all year long, but there’s an undeniably warm and fuzzy vibe that happens when you make time to give back during the holidays.

We were sitting around the table at lunch the other day talking about which organizations and charities we love the most, and it turned out every one on our team had a different tradition for giving during the holidays. Read on to discover our favorite ways to give back, and please share yours with us in the comments section. Happy giving, y’all.

photo via make life easier

image via country living

Heifer International

 “It’s a Smith family tradition to make a donation to Heifer International each year during the holidays. Heifer is a really neat, forward-thinking organization that helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. You can give a family a sheep, a pig, a flock of chicks, even a water buffalo! I love getting a picture of the family with the little animals and knowing that my donation is really helping people in need.” —Jenn Rose Smith

image via bloglovin

Operation Christmas Child

“Growing up, my family and I always set aside one evening during the holiday season to fill shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. The boxes are sent to children in need (many in orphanages!) in more than 100 countries, and it’s so special to be able to choose toys and clothes for a child in a certain age group and spend time thinking about what they’d be delighted to receive. We’d meet up with friends at Target and fill our carts with all our goodies, then go home and have a wrapping party with hot cocoa and Christmas music.” —Camille Styles

image by little spice jar

Help Serve a Free Meal

“Every December, when school was out for the holidays, my mom, brother, sister and I would get up early to volunteer at our church‘s homeless ministry program.  We would serve breakfast to those in need, and sing Christmas Carols. Even though it was a small act that only took a few hours, it was one of my favorite traditions that always left me full of the Christmas Spirit.” –Caroline Pinkston

image by Ali V.

Buy Someone’s Dinner

“I love to just buy random people’s meals at any drive thru. It’s not much, but as a college student it’s something I can afford and it’s a really nice gesture. You just tell the employee that you’d like to pay for the car behind you, and when they get up to the window it’s an awesome surprise! I’ve had it happen to me and it truly makes your day/week… or season in this case.” — Brianna Moore

image by kristen kilpatrick

The Salvation Army Angel Tree

“Every year my family and I donate gifts to kids from The Salvation Army Angel Tree. The tree is filled with cards describing a child in need and what they want for Christmas. We always have so much fun picking out the perfect gift that will put a smile on a child’s face come Christmas morning.” –Carmen Collins

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Comments (4)
  1. 1
    Tess December 11, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Heartwarming and motivating. Loved thinking about the people who were blessed by these acts of kindness.

  2. 2
    TAMIKA J RHODES December 12, 2017 at 2:51 am

    LiveBeyond is always at the top of my giving list – they’re an amazing mission doing on the on-the-ground work in Thomazeau, Haiti. I’ve seen firsthand how they’ve changed a community of about 250,000 people with clean water, fair trade, consistent education and meals, and safe births. You can sponsor a mother, a child or the building of the hospital at

  3. 3
    Molly December 12, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Yay, Heifer! We did the flock of birds last year, and it was so cool! Love that shout out!