10 ways to give back this Festive Season

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love” – Hamilton Wright Mabie.

The festive season is all about giving, and what better gift than your time? Now is a good time to start thinking about helping other people – reflect on what is important to you, and how you can use your own talents to help others out.

You can also use this time of year to challenge your friends, family and colleagues to organise a goods donation drive. Here are some ideas for simple ways to make a big difference.

These ideas are very specific, and ways to help Non-profit organisations with exactly what they need. You can use these as guidelines and find an organisation near you to work with over the Festive Season.

Forgood – a website where you can connect with good Causes in your area – have put together a selection of ways to help an organisation with exactly what they need. For more information take a look at

  1. Grab your loved ones and join CEEP Hospital Painting project when they go and paint murals in hospitals, to spread the holiday cheer to little ones stuck in the bare walls of a hospital ward.
  2. Donate left over food from holiday festivities to a good Cause. One such an organisation is Pikkewyntjies / Penguinkids Preschool in Betty’s Bay
  3. Donate presents to a place looking after Orphans and Vulnerable Children. When you buy your own children gifts, add a couple of toys to your shopping cart and make these holidays a happy time for these children.
  4. Put your gift wrapping skills to good use! How about going with Reach for a Dream Foundation to malls around Johannesburg. Wrap a few special items and put a smile on someone’s face!
  5. Imagine spending the holidays in a hospital ward, all alone. You can bring joy to people with serious mental illnesses staying in Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital over the Christmas period. This Christmas programme brings joy to a tough time in life, helping people stay connected to their communities and offering opportunities for socializing.
  6. Want to make a more long-term impact? Use your resources and help find 3 orphaned girls opportunities for internships or jobs after they matriculate at the end of 2017.
  7. When you clear out your office desk and lock up for the holidays, collect all your unused pens, leftover paper and other unused stationary and donate these to iThemba Projects. They can use these for their Early Childhood Development programmes and mentoring work.
  8. Need some packaging to sort out your festive shopping? Maybe you’re doing some home organising over the holidays? Slovo Centre of Excellence has a solution for you – and you’ll be helping a good Cause!
  9. Collect dog & cat food and other pet-care items. Take your kids and go and visit an animal shelter in your area. Those fur-friends also deserve some happiness!
  10. If you can’t see a Giving Opportunity you’d like to help with, you can create an Offer. What this means, is you can say exactly how you’d like to volunteer, or what you’d like to donate. Your message gets sent to Causes in your area, and they get back to you if they can use your help. Then you can choose which Cause/Causes to work with.

Whether you have a lot of time on your hands this December, or even if you’d like to just drop off a few goodies with a good Cause – there is a way to help which will leave you feeling like you have shared the gift of love. And nothing beats that!


Nerissa works as a community manager at forgood – a social startup which connects Causes with people who want to help. She has 2 children – Ezra is 6 and Calista a very mature 1.5 year old. In her free time she helps at the Haemophilia Foundation, and tries to stay sane by still making time for herself