How to make a difference during the holidays

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. There is a special sense of joy that comes along with embracing the season of giving and taking the extra step to make sure your neighbors are enjoying the holidays as much as you are. Creating a beautiful holiday season for you and your family is important, but this is a time where many individuals and families around you can use your support as well. Here are a few ways you can create a brighter holiday season for our community.


Your dollars have a meaningful impact on people who are struggling, no matter the amount. A donation from you may be able to provide someone with a warm coat, a warm meal, and a new toy for a child who may not have otherwise gotten one. You can give the gift of hope to a neighbor in need during the holidays through your generous giving. One of the ways you can do that is through United Way’s 100 Neediest Cases program where you have the opportunity to donate, fundraise or adopt a family. Visit to learn more.


The time and effort you dedicate to making the holidays more special can be very valuable. In fact, volunteering positively impacts you just as much as the people you’re helping. Studies show that volunteering reduces stress and increases positive, relaxed feelings by releasing dopamine. United Way’s Holiday Volunteer Guide features a whole host of opportunities to do things like wrap gifts, deliver gift baskets, bake cookies, and more. For more information, visit

Check up on loved ones

While the holiday season is filled with joy and celebration for some, a lot of people feel lonely, depressed, and anxious during this time of year. Maybe they feel overwhelmed by all the chores and tasks that come along with the holidays, or maybe they are feeling alone and isolated during a time when a lot of people are united with family and friends. Be sure to reach out to the people you care about and do a mental health check-in with them. See how they’re feeling, what’s going well in their life, and what may not be going so well. Listen to them and show them that you really care, and if you can see that they’re struggling, ask what you can do to help them.

Organize a holiday party at work

The holiday season is the perfect time for you and your co-workers to take a break from the pressures of work and take some time to bond with each other. Creating a fun, relaxing environment for a holiday party will build comradery which may come in handy when working together to complete assignments and projects. There are also opportunities for employees to bring donatable gifts to work and have wrapping parties so they can collectively give holiday gifts to local charities. Building good relationships with your work family through events like these will help to increase productivity in the future.


The holidays are fun, but the constant shopping, decorating, and planning can become quite stressful. There is a lot of excitement associated with this time of year, but make sure you periodically take some time to unwind and decompress. If not, this time of year will bring more stress than joy, and that defeats the whole purpose of the holiday season.

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Rodney Humphries
Rodney Humphries

Rodney Humphries is the Communications Specialist for United Way of Greater St. Louis and a proud graduate of Webster University where he developed his passion for writing. In college, he combined his love for writing and sports, serving as the primary sports writer for his school newspaper while also developing his own sports blog. After graduating, he continued his love for writing as he served as a freelance writer for various publications. Rodney continues to be a fan of Webster athletics, you will often see him sitting courtside at a lot of their basketball games.