8 reasons to volunteer this Christmas

8 reasons to volunteer this Christmas

Giving back to the community during Christmas is one of the best gifts you can give. Check out our 8 top reasons to volunteer on Christmas day.

Don’t panic about presents, forget the festive season as you know it and volunteer to help others instead. You will benefit, too.

Escape the family

Breaking the news you’re off to lie on a beach in the Caribbean at Christmas might go down like a soggy sprout. But tell them you’re off to save the Amazon jungle or to cook for a local soup kitchen, and suddenly you’re a real-life angel.

Get fit, not fat

If all that party food makes your jeans feel tight, sign up for a Santa fun run. Not only will running help you work off a mince pie or three, but you could ask friends and family to sponsor you instead of buying you the usual box of chocs. Google ‘Santa fun run’ and see what’s available near you.

Meet new people

You’re working towards a shared goal together, have things in common, it’s Christmas, so everyone’s in a good mood… so volunteering is the perfect environment for making new friends. Choose a project that will team you up with other people. Opt for something local and your new friends could be for life, not just for Christmas!

Rediscover the meaning of Christmas

If you feel sick at the first sight of tinsel in the shops, turn your back on the commercialisation of Christmas. Volunteer to help those less fortunate and remind yourself that the ‘season of goodwill’ is not about spending money you don’t have on presents nobody needs, and is actually about compassion, kindness and charity.

Offer to help serve Christmas dinner at a local homeless shelter on Christmas Day – and take along a couple of gifts, a bottle of Fairy Platinum to help get through the washing-up quickly and efficiently afterwards, and Flash to get all those tables looking as-good-as-new again.

Expand your horizons

Volunteer abroad – perhaps at an orphanage or with an ecological project – and you get to immerse yourself in a different culture, see somewhere amazing and help others at the same time. Just make sure you choose an ethical company with a good reputation.

Make new memories

If you have lost someone close to you recently, Christmas will likely trigger painful memories of happier Christmases past. Volunteer and the change of scene, new faces and sense of purpose will be medicine for the soul.

Waste not, want not

Ask your friends and family to donate to the cause you’re supporting instead of buying you a present and you’ll spread the joy of real, meaningful giving.

Save money

Most of these ideas are going to save you money without you even trying - whether you’re wriggling out of feeding 20 people or are too busy training for a Santa run to hit the shops for the millionth time.

For more information and to find volunteering opportunities visit the National Council for Volunteering Organisations at ncvo.org.uk

Have you ever volunteered over Christmas? Let us know your experiences in the comments section below.

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