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December 16, 2015

Four ways to give back locally this season

Embrace the season of giving by donating or volunteering in your community

As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season surround you, be sure to reflect on the real reason for the season by giving back.

There are plenty of opportunities locally to volunteer your time or donate to causes that hit close to home, from collecting winter coats and gloves to visiting with a lonely senior citizen at a nearby nursing home.

Help get coats to kids

(Ridvan Celik/iStock)

As the holidays begin, so comes the cold. 

Operation Warm, part of the Coats for Kids Foundation, helps to facilitate the distribution of winter coats for children in need.

For information, click here.

Keep holiday traditions alive for children grieving the loss of a parent

Cooper River Park Ice Skating
Many families celebrate traditions, like ice skating, during the holidays. (Camden County Board of Freeholders)

The Pennsylvania-based organization Family Lives On has a mission to help bring a little magic back into the lives of children grieving from the loss of a parent. 

According to the organization, "There are more than 2 million children and teens in the U.S. who are grieving the deaths of their moms or dads. One in 20 children experience the death of a parent before the age of 16."

Through Family Lives On's Tradition Program, volunteers help to keep alive traditions that children miss without their parents. 

For more information, click here.

Visit a local nursing home 

(File Art)

Oftentimes, the best gift is simply a listening ear. 

According to AgingCare.com18 percent of seniors live alone, while 43 percent report feeling lonely on a regular basis.

Even when they're being taken care of by caregivers, there is often little attention paid to deep, engaging communication, or even just silent time spent together.

Call ahead to your local nursing home to find out their policies for volunteers and visitors before visiting. For a list of Pennsylvania nursing facilities by county, click here.

Check an item or two off CHOP's wish list

(Pawel Kadysz/iStock)

Thousands of sick children visit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia's facilities each year, and their care goes beyond medical needs. 

CHOP's dedication to children's well-being includes keeping a stock of new, nontoxic toys on hand. 

For a peek at CHOP's wish list, click here.