Become a charitable Illini this holiday season

By Shalini Atluri, Staff Writer

While the holiday season is full of gift giving, there are also some great ways to be charitable this season. These charitable actions below can help give joy to those struggling this holiday season. 

Donate to The Salvation Army

As students pack up to go home for winter break, it may be a good idea to donate old clothes to The Salvation Army in your community. The Salvation Army is a great place to donate clothes. Make sure to donate washed, clean clothes to the clothing places. For the winter, it is a good idea to prioritize items such as sweaters, coats, hats, mittens and scarves so those who receive the clothes can put them to good use as soon as possible. In addition, donating clothes is a great way to clean out the dusty old basement. Instead of having boxes upon boxes of old clothes, start the new year off right with a cleaner basement and a fuller heart. Be courteous and don’t donate the clothes that already have rips or holes in them or stuff that is unfashionable. 

Give back with Amazon

During the holiday season, it may be likely Amazon will help place some holiday gift orders. While on the Amazon website, there are several ways to be charitable. Some ways include using Amazon Smile and Toys for Tots. Amazon Smile allows customers to make a small monetary donation of 0.5% of your qualified purchases to a self chosen charity at no extra cost to you. Some of the charities that customers can use during checkout are charities like Austin Pet Lives or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Another charitable gesture through Amazon is Toys for Tots. This is a platform where users can pay for a toy for a child to directly receive. It is as easy as saying “Alexa, donate to Toys for Tots.”

Have a virtual charity run 

A virtual charity run is a great way for someone to be charitable while benefiting themselves and others. It is an online-only event where participants can register for a run, collect funds through online fundraising sites and complete their run at their desired time and location. This helps people still support the organizations they want to while also getting some physical activity in. 

Adopt a family

Due to difficult times for families, some may find it more difficult to provide presents for each of their children. This is where adopting a family can be a great idea. By adopting a family, people can purchase the gifts safely online and provide no-contact delivery to the intended recipients. You can do this by clicking here. 

Give gifts that donate to charity

Why not kill two birds with one stone by buying gifts that simultaneously please the gift receiver and donate to charities? Many items and gift sets are able to donate some amount of money along with your purchase. Some of the gifts that give back include Listen to your Heart, which donates $5 with every purchase to the American Heart Association, and Bombas socks that donates a pair of socks for each purchase. 

While huddled up by the fireplace drinking hot chocolate, it may be easy to forget about the less fortunate. But their hardships can be lessened by generous donations from good-hearted people like you. Happy Holidays, Illini!

Shalini is a senior in AHS.

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