Just about as you are reading this post, I am on a plane landing in Gdansk Lech Walensa Airport. Yes! Coming home to Poland for Christmas, first time since two years! I am so excited :- )
If you’ve red the previous artcle about Holiday Spirit and what it means to me, you probably remember my promise to share with you some ideas from my “Christmas Giveback List”.
A huge Christmas tree decorated by kids and set up each year in the Old Town Gdansk
Here it comes! Below you will find all clues on how to make Christmas special for you and the people around you, while engaging in some really wonderful charity traditions. Pink words will direct you to the websites. There are so may ways to find happiness this Holiday, which one will be your favourite?
CHRISTMAS GIVEBACK TO-DO LIST
1. Engage in a voluntary action!
A need for volunteers during Christmas time is unbelievable! Almost on every corner of the street you will find a charity, company, or institution that needs an extra pair of hands. Rising money to cans, helping to organize the Christmas Market, to distribute food to homeless people, or prepare charity gift packages – are just some of many options you can choose from.
A beautiful Community Christmas Tree in my old high school 🙂
For opportunities in the USA, make sure you:
- Check the options available in your city or state online, as well as in the public places. Many times there will be charity posters hanging in supermarkets, in churches, in schools.
- Make sure you visit VOLUNTEER MATCH – one of the best sites that will help you find suitable volutary offer based on your prefferences.
For information in Poland:
- First, vist the Ogolnopolskie Centrum Wolontariatu, where you will be able to find specific information for your region.
- In Gdansk and Three City, visit KIWI – an amazing and very easily approachable Volunteer Base, with which I have been working for couple years now. Updates on the offers are posted daily and you will be getting a great volunteer packet with each action you sign up for.
- Florida has third largest homeless population in the United States. During my stay in Miami last year, I noticed an alarming feature of homeless people becoming a part of the city’s landscape! Especially after the recent hurricanes, help on the South of the US and in the Caribbean, is needed more than ever. This year, ‘The Homeless Voice’ Organization is putting forward a great effort to rise $1.500 and make Christmas possible for the Florida’s homeless, $665 is left to reach the goal!!
Christmas Charity Mission for homeless people in Florida needs your help this year! – source
- ‘SOS Give Christmas to Children‘ in Poland needs your help to prepare first ever Holiday dinner for once orphaned children, who this winter found new families in villages across the country. Help by donating any amount you can!
Up until adoption, the kids from ‘SOS Children Villages’, could only dream of Christmas. Now you can help them experience Holiday for real! – source
- Choose your own charity institution to donate to! Deciding on purpose that reasonates with you most, will bring you so so much joy!! You will find some more suggestions here.
- Your blood. You may not be thinking about it at first but just by giving your blood, you may save from 1 to 3 lives with yeach donation!!! Christmas is a very busy season, faints, hearth attacks or road accidents are far more frequent than in other times of the year. Blood donation costs nothing!! Check the Red Cross websites in Poland and the USA for updates about the locations of blood drives and other events.
3. Help me in my special mission for little patients with cancer!
As you may know, each Christmas I ask my friends to present me by donating to a charity of my choice. This year, I am extremely excited to embrace my beloved little patients from hospitals in Polish Wroclaw and officially announce joining forces with ‘Polish Foundation for the Rescue of Children With Cancer’ !!
How can you help me in this mission? By becoming a part of #1for1 action or in Polish #podajdalej .
Official Poster of the 2017 “For The Rescue of Little Patients with Cancer” Campaign – source
If you planned a gift for me this year – DONATE to rescue the kids with #cancer and for each of your donations I will reply with one too!! HOW MUCH can we raise together? How many lives can we save? Let’s multiply gratitude, let’s give the gifts of hope this Christmas – each single JD, $, and zł MAKES A DIFFERENCE!!
4. Choose wisely while shopping!
Choosing locally during our Holiday shopping is also a great way to give back to the community!
- In Poland, make sure you buy groceries in local markets, in Three City especially – in Hala Olivia, on Wajdeloty Street in Gdansk Wrzeszcz, on Green Market in Gdansk Oliwa and on Weekend Market in Sopot Wyscigi. I guarantee you, you will find best and freshes deals!!
My beloved little vegan grocery store “SPOZYVCZASK” on Grazyna 12 Street in Gdansk, Wrzeszcz – source
- In the USA, try to smile to the markets that support family traditions. If you can, engage in food donations to baskets at the casheer, buy seasonal foods – clues to winter produce guide and recipes – and before you shop, have your list ready so that you don’t end up with a basket full of stuff that you don’t need!
In my house, we always use fresh local products to prepare our favorite homemade gingerbread Rudolf Reindeer cookies!
5. Get a present with purpose!
You can also give back while enjoying your shopping for purposeful presents!
- Polish Foundation TVN ‘You Are Not Alone’ each year organizes an action where all money from your purchase of a beautiful Teddy Bear goes to a child in need. Teddys come in different color and name variations and are uniquely designed by Polish celebrities. Cost of one Teddy = 50 zl, about $14.
Polish celebrities with their Teddy Bears for the 2017 Campaign ‘TVN You Are Not Alone’ – source
6. Fill the empty seat at your table
Thins beatiful tradition of leaving an empty seat at the Dinner table, for an unexpected visitor, doesn’t have to stay in frame of just an idea. What if you actually invited a person to take this spot and join you and your family in celebration? If you are worried about the safety – try asking around your friends! Sometimes the people who may be spending Christmas alone, are closer than we think!
7. Smile! Smile! Smile!
This last point needs no description – smile is the most precious and adequate gift for each and any occasion!!
Wear your smile like a loaded gun and let its power to the magic 🙂