At Latter-day Saint Charities, we believe one of the best ways to celebrate Christ’s birth is through service. When we serve others, we serve Christ. “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).
No matter the place or circumstances you live in, you can find ways to serve and lift individuals around you. “Small efforts collectively make a big impact, magnifying the many individual things we do as disciples of Jesus Christ,” said Sharon Eubank, President of Latter-day Saint Charities. “Our individual efforts don’t necessarily require money or faraway locations; they do require … a willing heart” (“I Pray He’ll Use Us,” Liahona, November 2021, 54–55).
Service opportunities are endless. Here are ten ways to give back during this Christmas season.
- Send a video message to a homebound friend. The video could include your family singing a Christmas carol, a child sharing a hand-drawn picture, or a personalized message.
- Contact your local school to participate in one of their service projects. If the school does not have a current project, collaborate with school administrators or parent volunteers to organize a relevant service project.
- Organize a food or coat drive for a homeless shelter or food bank in your area.
- Help your neighbor pull weeds, rake leaves, or shovel snow, depending on the climate and the needs of your neighborhood.
- Find an individual or family in need, and offer to bring them a meal for the holidays or provide them with presents for Christmas.
- Write a thank-you note to a teacher, healthcare professional, or someone who has positively influenced your life.
- Contact a local refugee center and volunteer as a mentor or driver, or arrange a cooking class that includes foods from different cultures.
- Find a reputable charity that interests you, and donate to their cause. During the month of December, the Light the World initiative features various global and locally based humanitarian organizations. Participants can donate to these organizations through Giving Machines, a type of charitable vending machine. Find one near you or donate online.
- Make homemade holiday cards to send to a children’s hospital or a senior care facility.
- Explore JustServe.org to find available volunteer opportunities in your community, or organize a service project and enlist help through JustServe.org.
Giving back will bring joy to your life and to the lives of others. Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “As we intentionally strive to incorporate a compassionate attitude into our way of life, as exemplified by the Savior, … we will surely be blessed with opportunities to be instruments in His hands … and in bringing relief to those whose ‘hands… hang down’ [Doctrine and Covenants 81:5]. … Our lives will become sweeter, our feelings more tender, and we will find a never-ending source of happiness” (“The Savior’s Abiding Compassion,” Liahona, November 2021, 14–15).