The holiday season is a celebration of God’s love and blessing to the world through Jesus. It’s the perfect time to reflect on what God has done in your life, to spend time with family, and to consider how you can be a blessing to others.
Tax breaks and an abundance of Christmas spirit make it even easier to give over the holidays. Here are five ways you can be generous with your holiday money this year:
1. Care for Children
Children are incredibly precious to Jesus, but they’re also very vulnerable. Consider contributing to a nonprofit organization this holiday season that focuses on helping kids.
In 2020, 2.9 million American households with children were food insecure at one point. Around 6.1 million children in those households were food insecure for at least part of the year. Food insecurity means the family is worried about having enough food.
Some of the best organizations fighting hunger in America include Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, No Kid Hungry, and Midwest Food Bank. You can also look for smaller local organizations that specifically serve your community or state.
2. Fight Global Hunger
If you want to give internationally, consider donating to worldwide organizations like The Hunger Project, Heifer International, or Food for the Hungry.
Each one of these international nonprofits focuses on different risk groups in varying nations. For instance, The Hunger Project works specifically with women in poverty-stricken countries, and Heifer International sends livestock to needy families to build up their personal resources and local economy.
The best international organizations work to help communities become strong enough to stand on their own. You can use government consumer websites and information on the Better Business Bureau’s page to ensure your gifts are actually helping people in need.
3. Buy a Lottery Ticket
If you want to give a unique gift that also positively impacts your community, consider purchasing a lottery ticket for someone you love. Across the world, many lotteries set aside part of their final winnings to give to charities or support nonprofits.
While it’s unlikely you’ll win the lottery, playing can help those in need if your lottery is paired with civil service organizations or charitable institutions. In the past, lottery funds have contributed to educational services, scholarships, arts associations, and museums, among other things.
Some Christians may feel uncomfortable with the lottery since it’s a form of gambling. Participating in the lottery isn’t a sin, but you should consider your motivations for doing it. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:23-24, “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up.”
As long as you aren’t idolizing money, a lottery ticket can be a fun gift for a loved one.
4. Serve the Homeless
In late 2019, over 500,000 Americans were homeless. Causes of homelessness range widely, from financial trouble to mental health struggles. Once an individual becomes homeless, it can be challenging for them to regain social standing.
To help homeless individuals get back on their feet, consider contributing to a nonprofit that focuses on helping the homeless. Several organizations in good standing include Transitions Homeless Recovery Center, Homeless Empowerment Program, and Avenues for Homeless Youth.
Many nonprofits that help homeless individuals are local or state-based, so check to see which organizations are active in your area. If there aren’t any near you, you can still impact the local homeless population by handing out care packages or contributing to a local soup kitchen.
5. Reach Out to Orphans
There are over 150 million children worldwide who have lost either one or both of their parents. Some of these children receive care from relatives or friends, while others are cared for by charitable organizations, adopted, or left to fend for themselves.
Children without adult protection are incredibly vulnerable to malnourishment, child labor, and sex trafficking. Several excellent charities that defend orphans include World Orphans, Love Without Boundaries, and SOS Children’s Villages.
If you want to support specifically Christian organizations, some good options include Compassion International, World Vision, and RememberNhu.
You can also start praying about adoption. As a Christian, you’ve been adopted into God’s family. Bringing a displaced child into your family is one of the most tangible ways you can show God’s love and care to another human being.
The holidays should be a time of joy. However, for many individuals, it’s just another difficult day as they struggle to meet basic needs.
The sheer number of people who need help may feel overwhelming, but each individual you touch matters. In the Bible, Jesus simply cared for the people in front of him.
Use these ideas to share God’s kindness and give generously to others this holiday season.