With Thanksgiving and the holiday season just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to give back and help the community.
Giving the gift of help and hope is especially important this holiday season. Because of COVID-19, many of our neighbors are facing food and housing insecurity, struggling to stay mentally and physically well and dealing with uncertainty about the future.
By volunteering or donating to local nonprofits, you can be part of helping people and our community sustain and recover. Here are five ways to give back during Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season.
1. Start a fundraiser on Facebook
Facebook’s fundraising feature makes it easy for you to share causes you care about with your friends and family and ask for their help.
As November ends and the United way campaign comes to a close, now is the time to make a final push toward an even greater impact for our community. This year, the need in our community is greater than ever. Every gift truly makes a difference, and we can accomplish so much more when we come together.
2. Provide crucial food support
Food is part of so many holiday traditions, but this year, far too many local families are struggling to keep food on the table at all. Requests for help with food through United Way 2-1-1 are up 33% this year.
United Way’s new United Young Leaders (UYL) group is partnering with the St. Louis Area Foodbank to help meet this critical need for the holidays. UYL’s first volunteer event will be a socially-distanced drive-up food collection on November 21 at the Foodbank to help individuals and families stay safe and healthy.
3. Brighten the holidays for those in need
With so much uncertainty this year, a happy holiday may seem out of reach for many people. Through the 100 Neediest Cases program, you can purchase essential items and gifts to make the holidays brighter for people in need.
Whether you choose to adopt a family, host a virtual fundraiser or make a donation to the 100 Neediest Cases fund, you can feel confident that every gift makes a difference. 100 Neediest Cases is run by volunteers in partnership with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, so 100% of donations go directly to local people in need. Get involved with 100 Neediest Cases and give the gift of hope to a neighbor in need.
4. Find ways to benefit your taxes
While there are many reasons to love giving back, here’s one that you may not have thought about: When you donate to your favorite qualifying nonprofit before the end of the year, you may be able to take advantage of different tax benefits that can reduce this year’s taxable income.
For example, the CARES Act created a new charitable deduction of up to $300 for individuals who do not itemize their deductions. Some stock donations and qualified charitable distributions may also benefit your taxes.
Discover all the ways donating to charity may benefit your taxes and spread the word about these opportunities to family and friends.*
5. Make volunteering your new holiday tradition
This holiday season, many local nonprofits need additional help as they work to meet increased demand because of COVID-19. United Way’s Volunteer Center is your central hub for all things volunteering, whether virtually from home or safely in the community.
From holiday meal deliveries to making cards for seniors, the Volunteer Center’s Holiday Volunteer Guide has dozens of holiday-themed opportunities to help local people and make an impact in the community. Check out the guide to find your newest holiday tradition.
*United Way of Greater St. Louis does not provide tax advice. Contact your tax professional regarding your tax strategies.