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4 Creative Holiday Donation Ideas (Even if You’re Short on Cash!)

Group of volunteers cleaning up a park as a way to give back

'Tis the season for gifting. But more importantly, tis the season for giving. What’s the difference, you ask?

In this hurricane of holiday mass-consumerism, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that giving doesn't always mean material or monetary gifts. If you’re not in a financial position to give back to your community this holiday season, you can still make a big difference by volunteering, sharing a unique talent or finding another way to help someone in need.

Need some suggestions on how to give back this holiday season without breaking the bank? Happsy has your back – take a look!

Looking for some donation ideas?

Everyone deserves a clean, healthy place to sleep. We recently partnered with Not the Worst Cleaner – who raises awareness and shares knowledge about the correlation between mental health and cleaning by helping struggling individuals clean their spaces – by donating a Happsy organic mattress to a person in need. Watch the before-and-after video here!

Have you considered donating your gently used mattress, too? It’s a great way to get involved by donating a necessity that can be a huge expense for families – and keeping a big mattress out of a landfill is a planet-friendly way to give back, too!

Maybe you want to give back this holiday season, but you’re short on cash and don’t know what to do. Or, maybe you’ve already donated and would like to give back in a more personal way. Whatever the reason, here are four unique ways that everyone can give back this holiday season.

1. Give your time

Young woman wearing a mask and a volunteer t-shirtYoung woman wearing a mask and a volunteer t-shirt

One thing that most everyone is able to give this holiday season is time. And volunteering is one of the most impactful and accessible ways do just that! Whether you’re on your own, volunteering with family or getting the office together to give back, there’s so much you can do for your community when you give a little of your time.

  • Local organizations that are always in need of volunteers might include:
  • Animal shelters and foster organizations
  • Hospitals and assisted living facilities
  • Libraries
  • Food banks
  • Temporary/emergency housing shelters

And those who cannot leave home to volunteer for health or other reasons can give their time, too, through virtual volunteering. It’s so easy nowadays to help out your favorite organization from the comfort of your home, your favorite coffee shop, wherever!

2. Give what you have

You might not have money to donate this holiday season, but there are other ways to donate – goods or services can make a great impact, especially great during the holidays.

Donating pre-loved clothes, shoes, toys, furniture and books is an excellent – and sustainable – way to give back during the holidays. You can also donate necessities like soap, toothpaste and canned foods that won’t break the bank for you but will help a family in need. Giving blood is a simple and almost painless way to make a difference during the holiday season and beyond. It’s always needed, and it’s something that most of us can give.

And if you have a unique skillset, such as handiness, accounting skills or even resume writing/interview prep, offering these services to those in need (such as elderly community members or those experiencing homelessness) can make a big impact.

Woman dropping off donations at a centerWoman dropping off donations at a center

3. Give your voice

Woman in a crowd speaking into a megaphone Woman in a crowd speaking into a megaphone

It’s a fact: the more people are aware of a cause, the more people will rally behind its mission. (That’s why we’re always advocating for organic living, sustainability and more here at Happsy!) When you’re wondering what you can give this holiday season, consider giving your voice to a cause that matters to you.

Holiday themed 5ks (both virtual and in person!) are held nationwide in support of just about every cause you can imagine. Get your family or the office together to participate – even if you prefer cheering runners on or handing out water to actually running.

And don’t underestimate the power of social media! Amplifying voices of lesser-heard communities, sharing stories of organizations or individuals who impacted your life and even simply leaving online reviews for local businesses you support can make a world of difference. And, of course, vote, vote, VOTE! If you have a voice, it’s your privilege and responsibility to use it.

4. Give some holiday spirit

Strong and supportive communities are built by individuals who take the time to get to know one another ­– and what better way is there to build your community than to spread some holiday cheer!

You can start by supporting local businesses when holiday shopping – which coincidentally happens to be one of the more eco-friendly ways to shop for holiday gifts, too! And when patronizing your favorite local coffee shop for your peppermint mocha this holiday season, consider paying it forward and buying coffee for the person in line behind you. Something so simple can have the biggest impact on another person … you never know when someone just might desperately need a smile.

Have you heard of a giving tree? If you’re looking to volunteer your time, donate goods, support a cause you care about AND spread holiday cheer, a giving tree checks all the boxes! Call a local shelter or family organization and ask if there are any families in need – and offer to sponsor one! Then, write what the family needs on cards and hang the cards on a tree at your local gym, office, church or library for the community to donate items. (And giving trees can be done virtually, too!)

Woman hanging a silver ornament on a holiday treeWoman hanging a silver ornament on a holiday tree

We’re so grateful for our Happsy community – during the holiday season and beyond! If you’re looking for more ideas on how to support organizations and individuals alongside us like Humble Design, Not the Worst Cleaner and more, join our Happsy community by following us on our socials @happsysleep or signing up for our emails!