As we approach Thanksgiving this week (also known as the First Legal Day Christmas Celebrations), it’s a great time to reflect and be grateful for all that we have in our lives, and focus a little less on all that we don’t. This uniquely American holiday is also a time when many of us start to think about how we can give back to the community and share a little love.
We all know that shopping from locally-owned businesses is a great way to support the community, but what are some other ways that you can give back to the Carroll County and Greater Atlanta communities this holiday season? Here’s a list of local charities and charity efforts you can support that might help you get onto Santa’s nice list.
1. Carroll County Animal Shelter
It’s always a great idea to support your local animal shelter, but the CCAS needs it more than most. They rescue many animals throughout the year and are often full to capacity. The shelter is in need of all forms of pet supplies—leashes, bowls, food—but monetary donations are also welcome for the shelter’s 501(c)3 called Full Circle Rescue. If you can commit, adopting a new pet for a fur-ever home is an even better way to help out; the shelter is also running their annual Toys for Tots drive, where if you bring in a toy for a child in need, the adoption fee is reduced to $60, including all vaccinations and microchipping. However, please be sure that you can commit, because Christmas is also the worst time of year for people to gift puppies only to bring them back a few days later.
2. Shop with a Cop
Nearly every local police department (to my knowledge) does some form of Shop with a Cop. For this program, police departments all over collect donations and then take children from less fortunate and underprivileged families shopping so they can have Christmas, too. Contact your local PD for more information!
3. 104.7 The Fish Christmas Wish
104.7 is a Christian radio station out of Atlanta that runs a phenomenal holiday promotion every year to help anyone in need. The radio station partners with local Chick-Fil-A restaurants to set up a kiosk where you can donate, make a wish, or grant a wish. Wishes range from someone being in need of a new washing machine to simply needing someone to mow the lawn, and in the true spirit of Christmas, each year many of these wishes are granted. For more information about where and when the Christmas Wish team will be showing up (or to make a donation) check them out on their website at http://www.thefishatlanta.com/christmaswish/.
4. Wrapped in Angel’s Wings
Wrapped in Angel’s Wings is a charity based out of Carrollton to support families that suffer the loss of an infant. They collect donated wedding gowns and pastel colored prom dresses which are used to make outfits and wraps for lost infants, which are included as part of their “memory boxes,” given to hospitals and funeral homes to help grieving families. These boxes include an angel outfit made from a donated wedding gown or formal gown, a stuffed animal, a remembrance charm, a pouch with a card to record the baby's prints, a prayer pillow, a keepsake ornament, and a reflections album. To donate a dress or make a monetary donation in honor of a lost child, check out their Facebook page and GoFundMe to help support them.
5. Your Local Soup Kitchen
While many of us are stressing over how to properly cook a turkey, impressing our in-laws, and preparing the perfect holiday feast, there are some who are struggling for their next meal, and the perfect way to help is to donate to your local soup kitchen or volunteer some time to help out. For more information on the Carroll County area soup kitchen check out their website.
These are just a few ways to give back locally, and there are many other ways that are run on a national level like Operation Christmas Child and Toys for Tots that are also fantastic organizations to support. This holiday season, even if you don't have much to share, a little time and a smile can go a long way for a gesture of goodwill. Count your blessings and pay it forward!
Happy giving! x