Yesterday was 'Give to the Max Day,' a day meant for donating to local causes and charities.  If you're like me and live on a tight budget, donating money isn't always an option.  Don't worry, there's plenty of other awesome ways for you to give back this holiday season that will help you stay within your holiday budget.






multi-ethnic volunteer group hands together


Volunteering can be so much fun and the best part is, you can volunteer for something that's near and dear to you. Maybe it's your child's school, the Tri-County Humane Society, a homeless shelter or even the VA here in St. Cloud. Many times people and animals need our time more than anything.



Make a Meal for a Family in Need





Maybe your bank account is empty but you have full cupboards. It would be easy to make extra for a family that is struggling with hunger. It's a simple gesture that will mean a lot. This is also something you could do on a larger scale with your neighbors or your church.



Ring a Bell for the Salvation Army



Salvation Army Red Kettle
Chris McGrath, Getty Images


Ringing a bell for the Salvation Army is so much fun! My friends and I did this when we were in college and even though it's cold, you're just having a blast. It only takes a few hours and it makes a huge difference for families across Central Minnesota.



Serve Thanksgiving Dinner 


Homemade Turkey Thanksgiving Dinner


Plenty of organizations serve Thanksgiving dinner for those who are less fortunate. You could make everyone's holiday, including yours, a little brighter by helping serve the big meal to those who wouldn't have it otherwise.



Make a Blood Donation



Blood Donation
Wavebreakmedia Ltd


Donating blood can be done year round but it's a great way to give back and potentially help save a life. Plus, there's a Red Cross right here in St. Cloud!



Adopt a Family



poor, sad little child girl sitting against the concrete wall


Your holiday budget might be tight but maybe you do want to make a family's Christmas a little brighter by adopting them. There are multiple ways to do this including through churches and other organizations. You'll be making a struggling family so happy this holiday season and you'll feel good about it too.



I know there's many more ways to reach out during the holidays and help those who are less fortunate. If you know of other opportunities for people to help out, leave the details in the comments below. Thanks!


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