The holiday season is all about giving; typically, this only includes your family and loved ones, but for some, it also means giving back to the community, and those in need. No matter what holiday you celebrate this season, this time of year is always a great one to spend a little time giving back to the community.

For those of us in the Charlotte, NC area, I've compiled a list of organizations that make it easy to include everyone in the holiday spirit.

1. Donate your clothes to 'Dress for Success'

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpuQcCgBacn/

Dress for Success has always been one of my personal favorite organizations. They're an organization that provides a network of professional resources for women needing a jumpstart in the working world. One of the ways they do this is by providing interview-appropriate clothing to women who can't afford a professional outfit.

For those of us in and around The Queen City, we can donate our clothing to their Charlotte chapter.

Find out more about donating here: https://charlotte.dressforsuccess.org/

2. Donate to NICU babies and their families through 'Tiny Hands'

https://www.facebook.com/TinyHands2018/photos/a.1828843910560443/1828843883893779/?type=3&theater

Tiny Hands is a Mount Holly-based group that gathers supplies to help NICU babies, and their families at CaroMont hospital in Gastonia. They accept all types of toiletries, gift cards and clothing for the babies; basically anything that you think could help a family with a NICU baby is something they will likely take!

Tiny Hands is really close to my heart because it was founded by my ten-year-old nephew and has grown into something so much bigger! You can find out more about Tiny Hands through their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TinyHands2018/

3. Donate to help the homeless with the 'Urban Ministry Center'

https://www.instagram.com/p/BmJWIwEA7rJ/

The Urban Ministry Center does a ton of good for the homeless people in the Charlotte area. With help from the community, they've opened Moore Place, a housing community for the homeless, and run a daily soup kitchen. They have many different ways that you can help them, from monetary donations to sandwich donations, through their "Operation Sandwich" program.

Find out more about donating here: https://www.urbanministrycenter.org/helping-the-homeless/ways-you-can-help/donate/financial-giving/

Find out more about "Operation Sandwich" here: https://www.urbanministrycenter.org/helping-the-homeless/ways-you-can-help/donate/operation-sandwich/

4. Aid LGBTQ+ youth in the Charlotte area through 'Time Out Youth'

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpsRuhGhqOr/

Time Out Youth is an organization designed to help LGBTQ youth with anything they may need; answers, support, and a community of youth going through the same thing they are. You can both volunteer and donate to help them.

Find out about donating here: https://www.timeoutyouth.org/content/donate

5. Donate to help homeless animals and pets with medical needs through the 'Humane Society of Charlotte'

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bpcf5SEAwg6/

The Humane Society is one of the more well-known donation options in our area, but it's still one that I'd like to mention because they really do make such a difference in the lives of these animals.

Find out about donating here: https://humanesocietyofcharlotte.org/give/make-a-g...

You can even help reduce the number of homeless kittens and puppies through the Spay it Forward effort: https://humanesocietyofcharlotte.org/give/spay-it-...

The holiday season is arguably the happiest time of the year with our loved ones, so why shouldn't it also be a happy time for those in less fortunate circumstances than our own? These 5 organizations are great ways to get involved, through donating or even volunteering, in order to help other people and animals around us.