Giving Tuesday, perhaps the most worthy of all contemporary unofficial holidays, is a chance to stop your holiday shopping (maybe before it begins? Not judging!) and consider your world. What do you have that others don’t? Is there a way you can make a difference, even just a little bit? Do you enjoy a sense of well-being that begins to glow right after you’ve done something worthwhile?
That last part is very real. Many people tend to think of giving back as a sacrifice of time, money, and effort. In reality, as those involved with their communities know, it’s just as rewarding (if not more) as a cherished hobby.
Here are 5 ways you can get in on the glow by helping out families who desperately need a place to call home.
#1 Fill up that Kroger cart
The popular grocery store has a program that lets them work with you to commit to the surrounding community. Each year, shoppers’ participation in Community Rewards results in an average of $80 per shopper, given to the charity of their choice.
Also—not sure if you’re aware—but Kroger has food and household supplies you’re going to buy anyway! It’s a win-win.
Take a couple minutes to register at krogercommunityrewards.com and select “Housing Families First” as your preferred organization (or just use our Kroger organization number: 94481). Boom, that could be an $80 coming our way with no cost to you.
#2 Then, go on over to Amazon
A similar program with a very cute name, Amazon Smile donates .5% of your purchases to your fave organization. You just have to go to smile.amazon.com and add us as your chosen charity (we’re still listed as Hilliard House there). Then, every time you need to re-up your dish detergent or add the latest LEGO set to your Santa bag, shop from that same smile.amazon.com link, and we’ll get a cut of Amazon’s profits.
#3 Treat yourself to a night out
Our annual gala takes you to Havana this February. OK, that’s only somewhat true. It’s at the Hippodrome, but if our past events there are any indication, you’ll have the time of your life. On Saturday, February 24 from 7-10pm, we’ll turn the historic theater into a fabulous Cuban nightclub circa 1955. We know you’ve always wanted to feel like a jetsetter from the Golden Era of Hollywood—we can see it in your eyes. You’ll drink tropical cocktails, dance the night away, and, also, help us find housing for Richmond families. Tickets are $75 each through December 31. Get ‘em before they’re gone!
#4 Walk a mile in Santa’s shiny, fur-trimmed boots
We’ve got a lot of kids at Housing Families First who have pretty much lost faith that Santa will bring them gifts. If you’d like to provide a child with a fantastic Christmas morning and start their new year off with the knowledge that someone cares enough about them to reach out, email Terri Iguina for details on the sizes needed for things like new coats and pajamas. We’ll get you in a Santa suit faster than you can name all of the reindeer.
(Disclaimer: You will not be delivering presents so you do not actually have to wear a Santa suit. Although, if the mood strikes, we say go with it.)
#5 Check the essentials off the list
Gifts are wonderful, and you do rock that long white beard, but Housing Families First always needs the less glamorous stuff: toilet paper, trash bags, those kinds of things. If you want to cross off a few items from our list, we’d accept them with open arms. Don’t want to make the trek to a huge retailer? We feel you. Shoot a gift card our way, and we’ll happily do it on your behalf.
It may not seem like much to you, but any of the above options will go a long way with us. And when you go through your holiday season with that special “I made a difference” glow, we think you’ll fall in love with the feeling.