Be it in a relatively small way, or one that is completely over the top, many of us in the West are about to overindulge. It is the "Season to be Merry" and we will do just that. It could be a false sense of cheer but whatever your circumstances it is almost certain that you will overspend, overeat, drink too much alcohol and so on.
The true message of Christmas is lost on most of us. These days it has become, by and large, a commercial exercise which ultimately can lead to anything but cheer. Depression and family disputes increase during the Christmas period. However as we all know there are always so many people out there who could do with a helping hand. So what about volunteering at Christmas? Here are some ideas which could point you in the right direction.
Your local hospital will probably be glad of some help at Christmas. Volunteers occasionally help with serving food, clearing dishes and more. The Children's wards of hospitals are usually inundated with offers of help, but what about the wards that have elderly patients?
Older people often have few living relatives and friends and are sometimes abandoned at Christmas, by what family they do still have. Call your local hospital and see how you can help. In these days of high incidences of crime, volunteers will need to be vetted but any help will be greatly appreciated.
You could simply offer some company and conversation, or perhaps take some treats to the ward. Such gifts would need to be cleared as safe, of course. Older patients are often bored silly at Christmas in hospital and most would love some extra visitors. Check out your local retirement and nursing homes also.
Homeless shelters often offer life at Christmas. For those that live on the streets winter is a cruel season. A homeless shelter may offer warmth, food and perhaps even a bed. Volunteers help serve food, clear up and so much more. On Christmas Day volunteers will keep such shelters manned.
At Christmas time most animal shelters are overflowing with unwanted and abandoned pets. The staff who work tirelessly at such rescue centres will have families and friends, who they want to share a little Christmas time with. Volunteers can help the staff enjoy a break and can also benefit the animals. Volunteers often walk dogs, feed the animals, help to groom the animals, bathe them and more.
Volunteering in your neighbourhood
There are many ways that you can help others by volunteering your services in your local neighbourhood.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army help many people around the World. They are sure to be grateful, for any help that you can offer and may be able to utilise you in many different ways.
Volunteering to bring some good, old fashioned Christmas cheer to others on Christmas Day is a great idea. When you come to consider the subject you will find that there are many ways that you can help someone experience the true meaning of Christmas.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog