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Four Pay-it-Forward Ideas for this Holiday Season

December 1, 2023

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When many people think of holiday giving, it involves online shopping or spending hours at the mall to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones. The holidays are synonymous with shopping and buying to ensure the people we love the most receive the items on their wish lists during family celebrations and gatherings.

However, the real reason for the season has nothing to do with exchanging gifts or spending money on presents. The holidays are about spreading goodwill, joy and cheer to those who need it most. This season, why not try to give back and pay it forward? 

At Franciscan Ministries, living joyfully is the philosophy behind our senior living communities in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio and we’re sharing some pay-it-forward ideas so you can spread holiday cheer and make the most of this season in your community.

Consider Charitable Donations

Charitable donations are one of the many ways that people can give back, whether it is to a community organization or to a cause that has a personal connection to their life. You might already have a charity or a non-profit organization in mind. If not, there are plenty of helpful ways to find one, such as online charity databases like Charity Navigator. This useful database evaluates charities based on financial health, accountability and transparency to ensure that you’re able to pay it forward and donate to the organization.

If you have a friend or a family member who cares deeply for others, is involved in social justice causes or has a cause that is near to their heart, consider donating to their favorite charity or cause on their behalf rather than choosing a physical gift for them. This is a great way to spread holiday cheer that is meaningful and impactful.

Become a Mentor

For seniors, becoming a mentor to a younger individual is an excellent way to share helpful advice and wisdom while bridging generational gaps and connecting with someone on a personal level. Whether you decide to become a mentor for a grandchild or younger relative or go through a local organization, this is an excellent way to pay it forward during the holiday season, especially by working with younger people who might not have close family members nearby during the holidays. 

Give Back to Your Community

During the holidays, many organizations do as much as possible for those who are less fortunate this time of year. For example, food banks, toy drives and other charities come together to provide food, gifts for children and other necessities that people wouldn’t otherwise have during this time of the year. 

Reach out to your local food banks, hospitals, and other local organizations to see what they need regarding donations or in-person volunteer opportunities. This is a wonderful way to give back to your community, but it’s also an excellent opportunity for you to get more involved locally and meet new people. 

Random Acts of Kindness

Don’t forget that one of the best pay-it-forward ideas can be done any time of the year through random acts of kindness or small tasks that show your appreciation and respect for the people around you. Whether you pay for the person behind you in line at your local coffee shop, leave a large tip for your waiter at a restaurant or simply call a loved one for an extra-long check-in, random acts of kindness are a wonderfully simple way to spread holiday cheer. 

Franciscan Ministries is proud to promote our philosophy of living joyfully throughout our senior living communities in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio and throughout the surrounding areas. Our mission is to uplift our residents through purpose, active living and exceptional care. We also understand the importance of building up our surrounding communities, which is why we take such a thoughtful approach to enable donors to truly connect with the work we do. Through our many foundations and ministries, we’re able to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need. 

To learn more about how you can help us in our mission to celebrate life and serve with joy, visit our website and find out how you can make a contribution to ensure that we can continue to serve others!