ePRESS secret santa

Giving Back During the Holiday Season

December 19, 2023

A guest blog by Hailey Kanipe, MPH, CPS, ICPS, Prevention Specialist.

Making spirits bright.

During the holiday season, there is so much stress and excitement that it can often be difficult to step back and see the big picture of why we all celebrate. Regardless of your religious beliefs, I think we can all agree that the holidays are a great time to think about all we have to be thankful for and how we can give to others. Giving reminds us of the importance of staying humble and caring for others. After all, we are all human and can all use a little extra care at times – especially around the holidays. So, how can you give back this holiday season? Here are a few ideas to get you started…

Volunteer with a local community organization

The Midlands has been blessed with so many wonderful organizations that fill all types of needs in our communities. Find a need you are passionate about and help fill it! Some people like to volunteer at a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, food pantry, or coat drive. If you see a need that is not being filled, consider rallying neighbors to help you organize a way to fill it. After you volunteer, remind yourself of all the reasons you chose to do it and think about how it made you feel to be able to help out. Don’t forget to bring your friends and family along so they can help volunteer, too!

Check out this blog for some ideas of places to volunteer locally — https://colatoday.6amcity.com/city-guide/play/volunteer-opportunities-columbia.

Give financially.

Let’s talk about money! Honestly, it’s the one thing we always seem to need more of. This is especially true for many of our local community organizations and non-profits that do great work in our communities all year round. If you aren’t able to volunteer, these organizations could always use financial help. Are you passionate about something? Many organizations will allow you to donate to a particular project or program. Just ask! Also, don’t forget that in many cases, your donation is tax-deductible, so it’s a win-win for everyone!

To browse a list of local non-profits in the Midlands, visit https://www.midlandsgives.org/nonprofits?_rs=1866196471.

Join a coalition.

Coalitions are local community groups that meet year-round to advocate for community change around a specific topic. These coalitions are made up of people from all over the community – healthcare workers, law enforcement, churches, schools, parent groups, non-profits, students, and local citizens. There is no better way to give back than to join a coalition and help improve your local community! You can join several local coalitions, including Lexington One Community Coalition and Rise Above It Lexington Two Community Coalition.

For more information about these coalitions and how to join, contact Caroline Deane at cdeane@lradac.org.

No gift is too small.

Regardless of what you choose to do to give back this holiday season, do it with joy! You can spark a change in your community that will ripple out and impact lives across the Midlands. Anything you can give counts, whether time, money, or physical items. Happy Holidays!

LRADAC is the designated alcohol abuse and drug abuse authority for Lexington and Richland Counties of South Carolina. The public, not-for-profit agency offers a wide array of prevention, intervention and treatment programs in locations convenient to residents of both counties. The agency has a budget of approximately $10 million and serves more than 5,000 clients per year.