It's the most wonderful time of the year and for most, that means spending quality time with family and friends.
The holiday season is a time for joy and goodwill. Many look forward to spending quality time with family, friends, and loved ones. However, the holidays are also about giving back and sharing with those less fortunate in our communities.
There are many volunteer opportunities to support neighbors in need in Baton Rouge. But that’s often easier said than done. Where do you donate? What do you do? How can you help?
We’ve put together a list of several creative charitable ideas for you to help people in need. Remember, even small acts of kindness can brighten the season for others while enriching our own lives.
Read on to discover several inspirational ideas for giving back locally this holiday season.
If you're a culinary enthusiast, the holiday season offers a golden opportunity to extend your skills beyond your kitchen. Whether you're in the Garden District or Mid City, consider the following avenues for impactful food donations.
Buy extra canned goods or other non-perishable items and drop them off at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Even small donations of a few additional items can help feed struggling families during the holiday season.
Get children involved in giving back by having them bake holiday cookies, treats, or other homemade goodies. You can then deliver them to local Baton Rouge shelters and outreach programs. This teaches kids the value of caring for others in fun, hands-on ways.
Consider baking your famous homemade casserole or pie to share at soup kitchens. Those in need appreciate warm comfort foods at this time of year. You can also cook a full homemade Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner for a financially struggling family.
Donating holiday feasts throughout the East Baton Rouge Parish can bring joy to families who would otherwise go without.
Spending just a few hours at local food banks and shelters provides welcome support during their busiest time of year. With more families facing food insecurity and housing instability, these organizations need extra hands to keep up with increased demand. Donating a couple of hours helps ensure everyone in our community gets care and a holiday meal.
Lend your expertise in tutoring, office administration, or grant writing to nonprofits in Baton Rouge. This enables them to expand their reach and uplift those in need during the holidays. Your skill contribution becomes a gift that empowers organizations to make a lasting difference in the community.
Consider offering free childcare to parents struggling financially. Babysitting kids for an evening or weekend frees up time for parents to work extra shifts, run errands, or simply relax. Providing this thoughtful gift shows special care for our community.
Getting personally involved with local groups builds bonds and lifts up our Baton Rouge neighbors. You can make the holidays brighter for those in need through even small acts of service. Together, our efforts create a community that strongly supports each other during the holiday season.
Why not gather friends, family, coworkers, or community members to multiply your giving back this holiday season? Organize a group volunteer event for broader impact:
Select a venue in the Capital Area, recruit volunteers, and decide on an activity. You could focus on a specific Baton Rouge neighborhood, like the Perkins Rowe area, to bring attention to local issues.
Scout local nonprofits for volunteer needs. Select a fun-themed activity like assembling meal boxes, wrapping gifts, decorating shelters, or singing carols at a senior home. Then recruit volunteers and choose an event date and location. Be sure to provide supplies and tools!
Promote the event through social media, flyers, email, and word-of-mouth. Share logistics and build excitement. On event day, oversee setup, welcome guests, supervise activities, and facilitate clean up. Make it rewarding and consider giving all volunteers a small “Thank You!” gift.
To inspire others, take photos and videos to recap and share on social media. Group volunteering builds community spirit and lets many people join in spreading holiday generosity. The pictures and videos could prompt even more volunteers to join next year’s event.
Small gestures of kindness can have a significant impact on others. Consider these simple ways to bring cheer to your community this holiday season:
Write uplifting cards or letters and deliver them to local nursing home residents, such as those in Shenandoah or Broadmoor. Your kind words will provide lasting comfort and joy to those away from their families during the holidays.
Donate gently used coats, blankets, and other cold-weather gear to local shelters to help keep people warm this winter. Or, offer rides to elderly and disabled neighbors who need transportation to holiday gatherings and services.
Support small businesses in your community by shopping at local markets and craft fairs. Your purchases will boost the local economy and contribute to the vibrancy of your community. Plus, you'll discover unique gifts and treasures you won’t find elsewhere.
One meaningful way to make the holidays special for needy families is to "adopt" them for the season. You can provide food, gifts, and fellowship to a household facing financial hardship.
Here are some tips:
Follow up in the new year with additional support as needed because your caring relationship can extend beyond the holidays. Adopting a family maximizes the impact of your giving and creates human connections. You can truly change lives with this hands-on support.
The holidays are a time for joyful giving. Whichever way you choose to care for your Baton Rouge neighbors this season, your generosity can make a difference. From volunteering time to donating food, clothes, or gifts—we can all do something to make the season a little brighter. Have a wonderful holiday!