The holiday season is a great time to reflect on your blessings and give back to others. We try to do this all year round and participate in as many charity events and wonderful causes that we can throughout the year.  Fort Worth is full of great opportunities to lend a helping hand.

Most of us have a desire to give back but aren’t sure where to start, so we put together 12 ideas to get you in the “giving mood.” You can commit to giving both small and big for 12 days in Christmas.

Day 1 – Deliver Meals for Meals on Wheals of Tarrant County or Contribute to their Food Pantry 

This is one organization that we’ve helped out with in the past and we love that their hearts and mission is similar to ours – nourish our community members. However, they specifically seek to help elderly individuals and disabled people get meals delivered to their home. You can help out by delivering meals in your neighborhood, simply visiting those who are lonely and making sure they are okay living independently in their own homes.

A very practical way to help them is to donate non-perishable items to make it easier to serve. They have a food pantry that you can donate food items to like canned chili, cereal, and other simple and cheap staples.

Day 2 – Leave a Surprise in your Mailbox 

During the holidays our amazing post office workers spend long hours in not-so-great weather to make sure we all get our packages delivered. Why not surprise them and bake them a treat and put it in your mailbox so the next time they deliver your mail they are pleasantly surprised! It’s a simple way to show your appreciation.

Day 3 – Buy a Ticket to the Mid-Cities SOS 2019 Celebrity Chefs Charity Event 

One event we participate in year after year, is the Celebrity Chef event put on by Mid-Cities SOS. This culinary-focused event features a gourmet dinner from the top chefs in Fort Worth and live auction packages including live entertainment. Tickets sold benefit the women and children of SafeHaven of Tarrant County, which is a sort of halfway house for domestic violence victims. An easy way to support is to simply buy tickets to this wonderful dinner! This next year’s event is on January 20, 2019 at 6 PM and we’ll be there along with chefs like Jon Bonnell.

Day 4 – Gather Carts Left in the Parking Lot

Ever see stray carts in the parking lot at your grocery store or another store you frequent? Bring them back inside to help the store clerks out! It’s a simple gesture but will go a long way especially during the busy shopping season!

Day 5 – Donate to Project Beloved 

A story that truly ripped our hearts apart this year was the story of Molly. We learned that she was a TCU student who had been sexually assaulted murdered last year. Her mom is truly an incredible woman with a heart of gold. She is using her story to help other sexual assault victims. This is a fairly new charity organization but some of the initiatives they’ve started is to put together “Beloved Bundles” which provide clothes and other basic essentials to sexual assault victims in the hospital since their belongings are often seized for evidence. They’ve teamed up The Women’s Center of Tarrant County to bring these bundles to more facilities who could use them. Your monetary donation help put together these kits.

Day 6 –  Offer to Babysit for a Friend 

If your friend hasn’t had a date night in awhile because of their kids, why not offer to watch them while they go out for an evening? Talk about being a true friend.

Day 7 – Sort and Pack food for North Texas Food Bank

The North Texas Food Bank is always looking for weekly warehouse workers who can sort and pack their food. They distribute millions of meals through their partner agencies and need all the help they can get! Bring a group to all help or just bring yourself. They need volunteers in Plano (their new facility) from Tuesday- Saturday.

Day 8 – Pick up Trash Where You See It 

You don’t have to wear an orange vest and pick up trash on the highway to help minimize waste in our community. If you see trash near your house, in a parking lot or elsewhere, take a few minutes and toss it! Our city will be prettier because of it.

Day 9 – Drop Some Change in the Salvation Army Bucket 

We all instantly recognize that bell-ringing as we approach stores throughout the season. How often do we ignore those Salvation Army workers though wishing us a Merry Christmas? I’m guilty! Instead of ignoring them, take the time to drop a few dollars or some extra change in their bucket. The Salvation Army helps in a variety of ways including those who in natural disasters, veterans, fighting human trafficking and more.

Day 10 –  Leave a Generous Tip 

The next time you go out to eat, leave a more generous tip than usual! We guarantee it will make your servers night.

Day 11 – Volunteer with Blue Zones Project

We first heard about Blue Zones Project a couple years ago. We became one of the first (and I think only) meal delivery companies that are an official Blue Zones organization. Blue Zones is all about creating community healthy-initiatives to prolong the lifespan and health of our community members. Since our organization provides healthy meals we were happy to find out we could be a part of this. They have lots of volunteer opportunities to help with their various community events. You can check their page for updated opportunities!

Day 12 – Pay for the Person Behind You 

This is always a fun way to give back! If you’re grabbing your morning coffee through the drive through, why not offer to pay for the person behind you? Can you imagine how surprised they’ll be? That’s an easy way to put a smile on someone’s face and help them start their day on the right foot.