8 ways to help others this Christmas

Jonah Crenshaw, Staff Writer

With Christmas comes lots of joy, celebration, family gatherings, gift giving and home-cooked meals. Christmas is also a great opportunity to reach out to others. Here are eight simple ways to spread Christmas cheer this holiday season. 

1. Operation Christmas Child (OCC)

Every year, OCC sends out shoe boxes to other countries. This Christmas they hope to reach 11 million children with shoe boxes filled with toiletries, toys, school supplies and much more. So whether it is making a shoe box, or volunteering at an OCC center, this is good way to show others you care this Christmas. 

  Photo: The Salvation Army North: https://www.facebook.com/SalvationArmyNorth

Photo: The Salvation Army North: https://www.facebook.com/SalvationArmyNorth

2. Salvation Army's Angel Tree

Help a child have an amazing Christmas by selecting his or her name from a local angel tree. You can adopt an angel this year by visiting Haywood Mall or online at www.salvationarmycarolinas.org/apps/gift-catalog. 

3. Soup Kitchens

For students, Christmas is an opportunity to go home and serve at a local soup kitchen by providing meals to those in need. 

4. Christmas Cards

Oftentimes we send and receive Christmas cards to and from friends and family. This year try changing things up. Give cards to people you would not normally give cards to. This is a great way to show people that you are thinking of them and appreciate their role in your life.

5. Visit local Nursing Homes

People who are in the nursing home often spend their holidays alone. This time of year is a great chance to go visit and bring joy to the elderly and sick who may not have many visitors during Christmas. 

6. Needy Families

Maybe you know someone who is struggling this Christmas. Reach out to them and do what you can to help, whether that means preparing meals or providing gifts.

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7. Homeless Shelters

Donate clothes, food or your time in any way you can this Christmas at local shelters. One local shelter you can look into volunteering at is the Greenville Rescue Mission of Miracle Hill Ministries. 

8. Be Active

Many college students are low on money and cannot always afford to help those in need, but what they do have is energy and time. So use this opportunity to simply be active this Christmas in seeking out ways to help your neighbor even if it is not through financial means.