While the holidays are a time for joy and celebration, they can also be difficult for many others. Giving back not only helps our community, but can also help us to find deeper meaning and gratitude for what we have. Read on to find ways to give back to your community this holiday season and beyond:
- Mountain View CSA: Volunteer or donate at the Mountain View Community Services Agency (CSA). Opportunities range from working in their onsite food pantry to escorting a homebound senior to important appointments.
- Second Harvest of Silicon Valley: Located in San Jose, this center helps those in need throughout the Bay Area. Look for their food donation barrels in your local grocery stores and markets. No one should go hungry and Second Harvest of Silicon Valley has made this their mission.
- Los Gatos Parks and Public Works: Clean and spruce up local trails or participate in one of their longer-term projects such as "Adopt-a-Planter" or "Adopt-a-Bench."
- Mountain View Senior Center: Help seniors connect with loved ones through a virtual meeting! Other volunteer opportunities include making appointments and connecting seniors with important resources. For more information, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sponsor a family on GoFundMe: It doesn't take long to explore the GoFundMe site and find someone that you can help. You can even search by location to help someone directly in your community.
- Silicon Valley Salvation Army: The Salvation Army has so many volunteer and donation opportunities available within the community.
- Assist in food distribution and help load food boxes into cars as needed.
- Volunteer as an office assistant and help take phone calls and answer questions, enter data, make labels and more.
- If you don't have time to volunteer, donations are always welcome. Donate clothing, money or even airline miles.
- Santa Clara Community Volunteer Opportunities: Looking for other ways to give back? The City of Santa Clara website has compiled a comprehensive list of charities and organizations that could use your help. Find a cause that's close to your heart and reach out.
Any amount of time spent giving back to your community is a worthwhile investment. It can even boost your mental health. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the health benefits of serving and giving are endless — lower blood pressure, better mood, increased self-esteem and more. Find ways to give back and serve others this holiday season. Whether you donate time, food, or clothing, it will make a vast difference in the lives of those who receive them. El Camino Health also has volunteer opportunities for community members.
This article first appeared in the December 2022 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.