‘Tis the season for giving, and there’s no shortage of opportunities to give back in the Raleigh area and beyond through one of many Raleigh nonprofit organizations. But volunteering at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen is far from the only way to give back. Below are seven easy and alternative ways to engage in some seasonal giving.

How to Get Involved in Seasonal Giving

1. Sponsor a family

Wake County sponsors a Holiday Cheer program that matches children and seniors in need with sponsors who donate holiday meals and gifts. It’s easy to get involved as a sponsor and there is no minimum required spending amount.

2. Visit a nursing home

Many nursing home residents do not have friends or family members to visit them during the holidays. You can give back by visiting a nursing home in Raleigh to Christmas carol, hand out treats or gifts, or simply visit with residents. You can even bring your pet along for residents to spend time with (check to make sure the facility allows this first, though).

3. Gather your spare change

If you have a spare change jar, cash it out and donate it to a food bank or shelter or use the money to buy goods to donate or hand out yourself. Because you used spare money, you won’t even notice it’s gone.

4. Check your gift cards

Many of us have gift cards stuffed in our wallets or drawers with just a few dollars remaining on them. Gather them up, check the balances and find someone who could benefit from them more than you. It may only be a few dollars to you, but it’s a hot meal or a new shirt to others.

5. Go on the job hunt

You can give someone a fish, or you can teach them to fish. Instead of donating money, donate your time to help the unemployed put together a resume, fill out some job applications and offer some interview coaching. The Raleigh Rescue Mission is a great place to find less fortunate job seekers to help.  

6. Use Amazon Smile

Before embarking on your holiday shopping, sign up with Amazon Smile. Then as you shop on Amazon, a portion of everything you spend will be donated to a charity of your choice.

7. Volunteer at CASA

CASA is a Raleigh nonprofit that provides affordable housing for low-income people in the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill areas. There are several opportunities to volunteer at CASA or you can donate here.


No matter how you choose to do it, just a little bit of seasonal giving can go a long way toward changing someone’s life for the better. Get involved today and make it a holiday season to remember.