It's a season for giving - and not just to your friends.

It's fun to give gifts to our friends and family. It's also a good time to give to people in our area who need some help right now. People are struggling a lot in 2020 and that makes giving to groups like the Salvation Army and Houston Food Bank important. "People who are struggling are going to struggle even more during Thanksgiving and Christmas --- particularly this year," says Chief Development Officer of the Houston Food Bank Amy Ragan

Putting money in a red kettle or groceries in a red barrel is easy to do. Ragan says you don't have to be rich to help. "Any amount really makes a difference. Just $10 will buy 30 meals."

If you can't give cash, give your time. "We need volunteers to do all kinds of things. We've been doing some home deliveries and there's the virtual call center that can be handled by volunteers. There really are more ways to volunteer that come about because of the pandemic."

Americans Give More to Charities

Ragan says you can donate to any charity you or your friends admire in honor of a friend. The Food Bank will even send the notice card to the honoree for you. The Salvation Army is especially busy this year and buying one item off the angel tree at Walmart will make someone's Christmas.

Here are some other ideas:

Organize a Food Drive and deliver it to a homeless shelter, a food bank, or a church that feeds the hungry
Donate Pet Food and supplies to a local Animal Shelter
Volunteer at a local non profit that you love
Donate your GOOD used items to Goodwill or your neighborhood charity resale shop
Volunteer at a non profit that grabs your heart (walk dogs at an animal shelter, cook in a "soup kitchen." answer phones at a charity hospital, etc.)
Donate (wrapped in seasonal wrapping paper) new socks and hand lotion to a nursing home to be given to the elderly who were not visited or gifted this year.
Surprise a neighbor who has recently had a bad time by putting a wreath on their door.

photo: Getty

It's a good time to give to a local charity

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