Christmas is quickly approaching, but there is still a little time for last-minute shoppers to wrap up their spending. There are many ways to give generously over the holidays, but some of the most rewarding presents you can offer won’t be found in a mall or under the tree. It’s not too late to give back to those in need– here are a few great ways to spread the love this holiday season.
Contribute to a Local Charity
There are hundreds of local non-profits that go above and beyond to assist families, children, veterans and others in need over the holidays and throughout the year. Making a donation to a local charity in the name of a friend or family member is a meaningful alternative to purchasing a present. Or donate your time as a volunteer for an upcoming event or program. Even a little goes a long way toward helping others in the community.
There are hundreds of non-profits to choose from, including the Music Association of Minnetonka, The Caring Effect, We Can Ride, Minnetonka Youth Hockey Association, Friends of the Library and ICA Food Shelf.
Check out GiveMN.org for a list of non-profits and causes in the Minnetonka area.
Donate a Toy
Every year, local family resource center helps to provide presents to more than 1,000 children in the area with their annual Toy Chest Drive. This is the last week to donate toys, but community members have until the end of the week to make a contribution. Right now they really need toys for teens, but for more specifics, call ResourceWest at 952-988-5350. Want a great way to find the perfect gift for a child in need? Take your kids to the store and let them help you decide on a good gift for someone their age.
Help Others through Oxfam
Plant a vegetable garden, stock a cereal bank or buy a goat for a family in need. Oxfam America Unwrapped features a wide range of incredible gifts for impoverished families all over the world. Rather than going to the department store for cashmere, $50 can get you a sheep with wool to make local textiles and help a family create their own income. Pick out your gift online and Oxfam will send a card to your friend letting them know what is going to help someone in need.
Adopt a Pet
There are so many animals in need of a good home across the many shelters in the Minneapolis area. Rather than buying a pet from a store or a breeder, adopting a cat or dog can help to save a life and surprise a loved one. Contact one of the many local shelters and animal rescue organizations for more information:
Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley – 763-489-2222
Pet Haven of Minnesota in Minneapolis – 952-831-3825
Southwest Metro Animal Rescue in Chaska – 952-368-7297