It is that time of the year again. How to give back during the holiday is a question that many of us are trying to figure out. We never really have enough time to do our everyday things and then we are being asked to volunteer or donate our time to an an organization that needs help. One way is to contact your local hospice or nursing home and ask them how you can help the residents during the holidays.
The first thing that comes to mind is volunteering to serve a meal. Some places may turn down an offer to do this because many of the residents are on very strict diets and are not able to eat the same things. But many of the residents have very limited incomes. Usually, if they have Medicare, nearly all of their monthly check is paid directly to the nursing home. They are usually allowed to keep a small amount, maybe $25-35 dollars for toiletries and special things. Many hospices and nursing homes have “Wish Lists” on their websites. One item that might be listed is to pay for a day in hospice, which can run upwards of $200 a day, but other things on the lists are for personal care items, such as shampoo, body wash, shaving cream, disposable razors and toothpaste, etc. Many of us probably have a drawer full of things that we haven’t even used yet. Or extra toothbrushes from our last few dental appointments. Other items often requested are small blankets or throws. At this time of year, a throw can easily be found for a few dollars.
You can easily organize a hospice or nursing home drive at work. Decorate a box or basket and leave a list of what things are needed. At my job, we hung holiday tags along the window sill in the employee break room with items that are on the wish list for our local hospice. Employees that wish to participate take one or more tags and bring the items that they have selected and drop them off into the basket, similar to the Angel Trees that are found in the mall or area stores. It doesn’t take much to fill up a box, but it means so much to the organization and the residents who will benefit from your kindness.
Whatever you can do will go along way towards making someone’s holiday just a little bit brighter.