A merry Christmas for all of us

800px-Angel_on_a_Christmas_tree_(5274608959)
To many of us, the Christmas season is one of the most stressful times of the year. We are busy with preparations, planning festive meals and decorating our homes. We rush through shopping malls to buy presents for our family and friends, or spend the weekends working on handmade gifts.

However, through all the hustle and bustle we tend to forget the less fortunate among us who, now more than any other time of the year, are weighed down by their financial and/or emotional problems. Be it a financially troubled single parent, unable to afford presents for his or her children, a lonely elderly person with noone left to celebrate with, or even a formerly completely intact family recently hit by calamity: there are many ways the most cosy and wonderful season can turn into a nightmare.

Probably the first thought that comes to people’s minds when they do think about those unfortunate people is donating money to Charity. Indeed, many cities are covered with ad campaigns by countless charitable organisations pleading us to do just that. But what if you do not have a lot of money yourself?

A few answers to this question are collected here. Below you can find two classic and two truly innovative things you can do to make Christmas a happier time for others without spending money:

1. Donate things you no longer use

This is a good way to make room in the back of your drawer or the corners of your attic and helping others out at the same time. Go through your belongings and sort out the things that you no longer use but are still in good shape. Be it clothing or toys: there are many organisations collecting goods to distribute among those in need.

2. Donate your time
Anyone who has ever been through hard times knows the value of having a person simply being there and listening to them. Be that person for someone else! If you do not know any person in such a need personally, you can donate a few of your hours volunteering at a local nursing home, a woman’s shelter or a homeless shelter – there is an infinite amount of options and possibilities!

3. Do good while shopping for Christmas presents
If you like to buy your Christmas presents online, this is a good option for you: Via Goodshop you can generate a donation for each purchase you make online, and give it to the Charity of your choice.

4. Donate the idle time of your computer
At BOINC, you can donate the time during which your computer is running without you using it. Researchers will then be able to use it to work on projects that aim to study global warming, cure diseases and much more.

[Deutsch]

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