Looking to put a little magic into your holidays?

There are lots of different ways you can volunteer and help others during the holiday season. Giving to others makes you feel good, and volunteering is something you can do with your family, friends or even by yourself. Here are some suggestions:

Volunteer at a shelter: Contact a local shelter in your community and volunteer your time working in the soup kitchen during the holidays. You can also work alongside your local Salvation Army or parish to collect non-perishable food items and gently used winter clothing from family, friends and neighbours to donate to the homeless.

Sing carols: There is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than by singing Christmas carols – you can even sing to raise money for charity. Contact your local charities and ask if you can carol on their behalf. If you’re not big on singing, why not volunteer at your local church by selling tickets, seating guests or serving food during their holiday concerts or dinners. Otherwise, gather some family and friends and simply carol for the fun of it, and to spread holiday cheer!

Participate in a charity run: Raise money for charity while burning off those winter calories. Check online to see if there’s a Santa Fun Run in your area.

Purchase a sustainable gift: Purchase a gift to help a family in a third world country. Charities like Oxfam Canada allow you to purchase gifts, such as livestock or books for those less fortunate. A donation of even $15.00 can purchase a chicken, which can really go a long way for a family in need.

Purchase a charity gift card: Why not purchase a charity gift card from CanadaHelps this holiday season? Purchase the gift card, give it to a family member or friend, and have them decide which charity they would like the funds to go to. Charity gift cards are a fantastic way to pay it forward.

Donate your reward points: Are you a frequent traveller with an abundance of AirMiles? If so, donating your reward points is a great way to give this holiday season. Donate your excess AirMiles to charities, such as the Canadian Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund or the Kids Help Phone, and make a difference in someone’s life.