During a season of hustle and bustle, we believe it’s important to think about opportunities to give back. Sometimes volunteering can seem daunting, but it doesn’t always have to require a lot of time or money to make a difference. Especially during a time of year when so many people could use a little extra help.

We’ve come up with a few quick and easy small acts of kindness that can make a big impact in your community.

Make a Meal for Someone in Need

Is there really anything better than a warm, home-cooked meal? During a season of seemingly constant cooking and baking why not try making an extra meal and delivering it to someone who could use a helping hand? It could be an elderly neighbor living alone or a single (or new) mom in your neighbourhood. Don’t underestimate the power of providing a hearty meal to someone going through a rough patch or transition – we guarantee it will fill the stomach and warm the soul.

Donate a Portion of your Sales

For business owners, the holiday season is typically an important time financially. But it also provides an incredible opportunity to give back!

Some businesses donate a portion of all sales to a specific charity and some get crafty by donating their time to an organization of choice, sponsoring a holiday event that brings their community together, or organizing a toy drive for children living in their community.

Whichever way you choose, know that you’re doing your part to help spread the holiday cheer!

Purchase Gifts to Donate

As mentioned above, many local businesses sign-up to be drop location for holiday toy drives for various charities, all in the hopes of making Christmas a bit brighter for local children in need.

While you’re out on the hunt for that perfect gift for your special someone, consider purchasing a gift to give back.

Volunteer at Your Local Animal Shelter

If you love animals, volunteering at your local shelter could be the perfect way for you to give back during the holiday season.

Try reaching out to places like the BCSPCA to see if there’s an opportunity for you to donate some time with them. Often times, dogs need to be walked and socialized, and cats need attention and cuddles (bonus: spending time with these furry friends can release feel good endorphins that melt away stress and anxiety often felt at this time of year). You could also ask them if there’s anything specific on their own holiday wishlist — like food, collars, dog and cat beds, etc. You could pick some up on your way!

Pay for Someone’s Coffee

One of the easiest ways to give back over the winter months is to spread some warmth — in the form of a hot coffee. Next time you’re in the drive thru or grabbing a cup of joe at your local coffee shop, try paying for the order behind you. Often times, that person will follow suit, resulting in many tiny acts of kindness in a row. And really, what’s more festive than that?

And here’s the easiest act of all: be kind. That’s it. The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone and a difficult time for some. Even more than physical gifts, a warm smile and sympathetic word can change the course of someone’s day. Being kind doesn’t cost anything and can make a world of difference!