10 Ways to Be Charitable This Holiday Season

holiday charity giftPhoto via Thinkstock

Feeling extra generous this holiday season? Take time out of your busy schedule to give a bit, and donate some of your time or money to benefit the less fortunate. Even with a million and a half things to do, there’s always a way to spare a few bucks or an hour of time, helping to make someone’s holiday a bit brighter. Here are 10 ways you can give back to the community this month, among many more.

Wear an Ugly Sweater

b Positive Project’s longest running Ugly Sweater Party will feature a T-shirt with the price of admission, a prize for the person who bring the most friends, a silent auction, a live DJ, VIP photos, and more prizes. Proceeds will go to Yoga Reaches Out, which raises money for children’s charities.

Saturday, Dec. 15, 8-11 p.m., Sweet Caroline’s, 1260 Boylston St., Boston, sweetcarolinesboston.com, bpositiveproject.com


Eat Brunch

Here’s an easy one. This Sunday, pig out at The Salty Pig or Coda Bar & Restaurant, as both restaurants will be competing in a brunch display contest. The winning restaurant will win a crown made of bacon (the Crown of Pork), and what’s more, a portion of The Salty Pig’s proceeds will go to the Lovin’ Spoonfuls charity, while Coda’s will support Room to Grow. All you have to do is eat!

Sunday, Dec. 9, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., The Salty Pig, 130 Dartmouth St., or Coda Bar & Restaurant, 329 Columbus Ave., South End, thesaltypig.com or codaboston.com


Write a Make-a-Wish Santa Letter

To benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation, Macy’s is collecting stamped, addressed letters to Santa’s home in the North Pole, to be dropped off in any Santa Mail Letterbox from now until Christmas Eve. Macy’s will donate $1 for each letter until they reach $1 million to be sent off to help kids in life-threatening medical conditions.

Until Dec. 24, Macy’s Boston (and all Macy’s locations), 450 Washington St., Boston, macys.com/believe

Give Blood at MGH

Why not donate blood and spark a bit of hope this year? At the Mass General Hospital Donor Center, all blood donors will be encouraged to fill out a personalized gift tag that will be attached to a stuffed animal and delivered in Santa’s bag to a child at Mass General For Children.

For blood donation hours and more information, visit massgeneral.org/blooddonor or facebook.com/MGHblooddonor.

Attend the Interfaith Feed the Hungry Gala & 65th Anniversary

This Thursday, head down to Quincy for the Interfaith Social Services’ Feed the Hungry Gala & 65th Anniversary Celebration, during which dinner and appetizers will be served, as well as bit-sized goodies from South Shore eateries. Participate in raffles, drawings, and a silent and live auction where you can win sports tickets, hotel, dining, and shopping packages, and enjoy entertainment provided by Robbie Printz and DJ Jeff Fowler. Proceeds will go to help feed the hungry.

Thursday, Dec. 6, 6:30-10:30 p.m., tickets $75, Granite Links Gold Club, 100 Quarry Hills Dr., Quincy, interfaithsocialservices.org

Watch the John Lennon & Beatles Tribute Show for Toys for Tots

Dennis Stephen will perform his John Lennon and The Beatles tribute “Lennon Show” at the Speed of Thought Playhouse Café in North Attleboro this Saturday, an event for which guests are asked to bring an unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots charity. Combine a fun Saturday night activity with a bit of giving back. Who could pass up an opportunity to be charitable while listening to classic Beatles tunes?

Saturday, Dec. 8, 9:15 p.m., Speed of Thought Playhouse, 39 N. Washington St., North Attleboro, lennonshow.com

Munch at the 2nd Annual Cookie Swap for a Cause

Santa’s not the only one who loves cookies this time of year. If you like to bake (and eat) all types of cookies, participate in this cookie swap. Last year’s event brought forth more than 90 of Boston’s bakers, swapping 6,000 cookies. This year, $1 will be donated per cookie to Glad to Give’s Cookies for Kids campaign. For free admission (limited tickets available), bake four dozen cookies. If you aren’t a baker, you can pay a $15 admission fee and purchase bunches of homemade cookies (even diet ones!) for you and the family.

Sunday, Dec. 16, 2-5 p.m., Space with a Soul, 281 Summer St., Boston, bostonfoodswap.com

Buy a Scampo Gift Card to Benefit Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Perhaps there’s a trend here—we’ve found another way to give back that involves stuffing your face. At the Liberty Hotel’s Scampo restaurant, 1% of all gift card purchases will go to benefit Mass. Eye & Ear until January 2. With every $100 in gift card purchases spent starting at $200, customers will be rewarded with a $10 gift card for themselves. Don’t miss out on the chance to get yourself or a friend some great grub, and to give back for a great cause.

Until Jan. 2, open at 11:30 a.m., Scampo at the Liberty Hotel, 215 Charles St., Boston, scampoboston.com

Compete in the Faneuil Hall Candyland Contest

Check out the 8th Annual Candyland Competition at Faneuil Hall this Saturday, fun for the whole family. Show off your board game skills and bring along the kids—every one of them will receive a Hasbro toy or game. Arts and crafts, live entertainment, Mix 104.1 games, and food and drink provided by local hot spots will also be included. The event will support Pitching in for Kids, a program designed to improve the lives of New England children.

Saturday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., tickets $20, Upper Rotunda of Quincy Market in Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston, faneuilhallmarketplace.com

Help Feed the Homeless

Help serve food at St. John’s the Evangelist Church with Saturday’s/Sunday’s Bread, a program that serves free hot meals to those in need every weekend. A great way to meet people and an even greater way to spend your time, volunteer the weekend before Christmas (or any weekend) to bring a bit of joy into the lives of the less fortunate.

Every Saturday & Sunday, 12:30-4:30 p.m., St. John’s the Evangelist Church, 25 Bowdoin St., Boston, stjev.org


For more volunteer opportunities, visit volunteerboston.org. To search Boston charity events, visit bostoncharityevents.org.