Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

The holidays can bring sweet memories of family traditions and wish lists miles long, but the season is also a time when people reflect on what they have and what they can give to others. Kent State University just wrapped up its monthlong Giving Tuesday initiative, but that does not mean the giving season is over; it has only just begun.

You can give back in various ways this holiday season by gifting your time, money or items to those in need. Several campus and local organizations offer opportunities for you to give this holiday season.

Kent State Organizations

Kent State departments, student groups and offices are holding toy, coat or food drives for organizations or individual families. Kent State’s Regional Campuses also host numerous drives for local causes year-round.

Throughout the year, the Kent State Women’s Center is always looking for donations for its food pantry and new Career Closet. Learn more about these and other Women's Center initiatives.

Through Kent State’s United Way campaign, you can give one-time donations or payroll deductions year-round to support local agencies.

The university’s online giving offers the opportunity for you to support student scholarships and more at Kent State. Learn more about online giving.

Coleman Professional Services

A nonprofit organization, Coleman provides behavioral and rehabilitation programs for individuals and families in Allen, Auglaize, Hardin, Jefferson, Portage, Stark, Summit and Trumbull counties. These various programs improve the lives of the residents in those counties by helping them to become self-sufficient. You can always support this organization by giving a monetary donation or by giving tangible items like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, sheets, hats, gloves and more. To learn more about giving to Coleman Professional Services this holiday season, visit www.colemanservices.org/ways-to-give/client-wish-list.aspx.

Portage-Summit Diaper Bank

The Portage-Summit Diaper Bank works to provide diapers to families in need in Akron, Kent, Ravenna and surrounding areas. The National Bank Networks says that one in three families struggle to buy diapers, since programs like Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and food stamps do not cover the cost of diapers. Monetary donations are accepted, as well as actual diaper donations. The website indicates a need for diapers in sizes four, five and six; most of the money is used to buy those sizes. To learn more about supporting Portage-Summit Diaper Bank, visit www.portage-summitdiaperbank.org/diaper-babies.

Shopping online? Use AmazonSmile

Use AmazonSmile instead and 0.5 percent of the purchase price from your purchases will be donated to the charitable organization of your choice. Both Coleman and Portage-Summit Diaper Bank are eligible organizations on AmazonSmile, as well as thousands more. To shop, visit https://smile.amazon.com/.

Salvation Army Angel Tree

Another great way to celebrate the holidays is to find a Salvation Army Angel Tree and select an angel from the tree, bearing the name of a child who needs gifts this season. Local trees are located at both the Portage Community Bank and the Salvation Army office on Main Street in Ravenna. Donations must be dropped off at the Ravenna office to ensure ample time for distribution.

“For many families, the tradition of gift giving is stressful and nearly impossible as the struggles of life prevent any extra blessings,” says Lt. Justin Barber of the Salvation Army. “The Salvation Army sees this time of year as a time where we can truly show love to those who are unable to provide these extra blessings on their own.”

According to Forbes, Americans were expected to spend more than $1 trillion on holiday sales during the 2016 holiday season. This year, in addition to the gifts you will give to your friends and family, consider bringing joy to those in need by giving back to the community you live and work in every day.

POSTED: Wednesday, December 6, 2017 03:23 PM
Updated: Thursday, January 11, 2018 02:18 PM
Latisha Ellison