(BPT) - Over the holiday season, it’s natural to look for ways to give back to those in need, whether in your own community or beyond. With everyone’s schedules being full to the brim over the season, and with so many other demands on your energy and your funds, it’s sometimes hard to know the best method to donate. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can make a big difference in the lives of others, even while going about your holiday errands and outings.
Here are just a few ideas to make a meaningful contribution and show your holiday spirit.
1. Participate in a toy drive
Always top of mind this season are the needs of children whose families may not have many resources. Organizations large and small throughout the country run toy drives over the holidays, so it's easy to share the magic of the season with children in your community. Simply pick up an extra couple of toys while you’re doing your own shopping, then find a drop-off location near you. Most charities require that donated toys be new and unwrapped.
2. Give your airline miles
While you’re arranging your holiday travel, check to see if you’ve accumulated extra airline miles. Most airlines allow donation of miles for a wide variety of good causes, so if you have some miles that are close to expiring or you just don’t think you’ll need them, ask the airline what charities they are connected to and how you can donate your miles. Chances are, you won’t even miss them — and they can make a meaningful impact on others.
3. Book a room to make a difference
If you or your relatives are traveling over the holidays, consider booking rooms at a Red Roof property, as their “Room In Your Heart” campaign will donate 15% to one of four meaningful charities, up to $25,000, as well as provide a 15% discount on the room rate. The four charities benefiting from the campaign are:
- Flying Horse Farms offers magical, transformative camp experiences for children with serious illnesses and families, free of charge.
- Canine Companions for Independence provides highly trained assistance dogs for children, adults and veterans with disabilities, free of charge.
- The Freedom Alliance supports American troops and families with care packages, grants, scholarships and other programs.
- The Sunshine Kids Foundation organizes positive group activities for children with cancer.
All travelers need to do is book a stay now through Dec. 31 using the promo code “Room” at any Red Roof Inn, Red Roof PLUS+, The Red Collection or HomeTowne Studios by Red Roof to take advantage of the discount and to make a huge difference to children, support animals and military members.
To learn more about the Room In Your Heart campaign, visit RedRoof.com/deals/national-deals/room-in-your-heart.
4. Donate blood
Often forgotten over the holidays is the continual need for blood and platelets. Disaster relief organizations and hospitals continue to rely on donated blood throughout the winter months, but many would-be donors are over-scheduled and may not be thinking about this crucial need, which never takes a holiday. Stores of blood are often depleted this time of year. It’s easy to do an online search for a blood drive location near you, and it only takes a little over an hour of your time.
5. Give while you walk
Several charities are connected to apps that allow you to donate simply by exercising — or even just walking throughout your day. You connect with your phone, which tracks your miles, and you can choose what charity you want to donate to. It’s a great way to stay active over the holiday season while also contributing to a good cause.
This holiday season, enjoy the festivities and keep up with the hustle and bustle, all while providing meaningful support to charities and causes you care about. Using one or more of these opportunities to give back will make the season even more magical — for you and for others.