Whether you have five minutes or five weeks, we've rounded up five ways to give back during the season of giving.
If you have 5 minutes
Whether the cause close to your heart is education, health or food and water, there's a way to donate directly. Outfit a classroom with 40 slates for $13. For $30, supply 129 polio vaccines. Buy 2,531 water purification tablets for $16. Or donate directly to the emergency fund, which will help the most vulnerable children and families.
If you have an hour
The Shoebox Project collects and distributes shoebox gifts (filled and decorated) to homeless or at-risk women across Canada and the US. This national, registered charity operates in over 40 cities across Canada. Last year, they delivered 25,000 gifts to women in 13 communities.
Host a shoebox party with your co-workers or friends, and in lieu of hostess gifts, ask guests to bring items to fill the box. What you'll each need: a shoebox that's filled with approximately $50 worth of goods. Think: cozy scarf, mascara, cosmetic bag, gift cards and subway tokens.
If you have a day
Holiday Helpers deliver (literally) Christmas to hundreds of needy families. With the help of volunteers, the organization collects, wraps and delivers gifts to those who need it most. Volunteer on the ground or behind-the-scenes as one of Santa's helper. Book a day, and grab a friend or your family and sign up for one of the following jobs: sorter, wrapper or driver.
If you have a week
Have you always wanted to see India, Kenya or Ecuador? And, do you have a call to volunteer? Why not combine the two passions and book a volunteer-based trip through Me to We and Trafalgar. You'll have the opportunity to take in the country's sights while gaining hands-on experience working with local families and the WE charity on a development project.
If you have months
If you don't have a dedicated day to volunteer or the resources to donate one lump sum, then spread out your charitable investment over several months. Through Camp Ooch, a monthly contribution, starting as little as $10 can help send kids with cancer to camp.