Giving Back for the Holidays

Editor’s Note: There are many great ways to give back this holiday season. Here are just a few ideas. This post originally appeared on HandsOn Network.

As we approach the holiday season – a season of giving and sharing, I’d like to highlight a few ways to share the joys of the season through the Points of Light Institute.

Toys for Tots Through generationOn and Hasbro December 3-10

Points of Light’s recently launched generationOn is a movement to empower young people to make their mark on the world by transforming their communities.  This holiday season, Hasbro is providing extra incentive to kids who step up and volunteer.  From December 3-10, for every child or teen who takes the pledge to volunteer and joins generationOn, Hasbro will donate a toy to a child in need through the Toys for Tots Holiday Gift Campaign (up to 100,000 total toys).  This is just one example of the many ways Hasbro’s generosity is supporting generationOn, as well as children in need.  You can further this holiday effort by spreading the word to friends, families, colleagues, and young people to join generationOn’s global movement.

Holiday Shopping on MissionFish

Omar, a 12-year-old boy in Zanzibar with a serious heart condition, is attending school, something he once could only dream about.  The folks who funded his life-changing surgery? Many, many eBay shoppers, who harnessed their purchasing power to benefit a nonprofit called “Save a Child’s Heart.”

By using the dollars of eager buyers, MissionFish, a business unit of Points of Light Institute, which partners with eBay, has raised more than $220 million to benefit 22,000 nonprofits in the U.S. and UK since its start seven years ago.  eBay shoppers designate a portion of the purchase price to a nonprofit (sellers may do so also).  In addition, nonprofits can sell goods to raise money.  So, you may shop for the holidays and benefit a host of causes at the same time by clicking here.

Tag, You’re It!

We are extending our game of virtual tag to December 17, to give individuals a chance to incorporate the spirit of holiday giving into their commitments to improve their communities.  For example, you could deliver holiday meals to shut-ins, wrap gift packages for needy children, donate blankets and gloves to shelters or, as one woman pledged, “increase random acts of kindness.”

As many of you know, Tag is part of Points of Light’s multi-year Get HandsOn Campaign to mobilize 500,000 volunteer leaders to accomplish 2 million projects.  At, you can create your own volunteer projects or join others posted by thousands of people who are committed to positive change.  What better way to get into the spirit of the season, as well as make a promise for the New Year!

More ideas on doing good and buying green this holiday season:

Holiday Gifts that Give Back

Good Choices, Good Cheer: Ethical Screens for the Companies You Support this Holiday

Green Gifts

Photo credit: wikimedia commons

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Merna S.
Merna S.4 years ago

These ideas should be implemented year-round. Let's take action all the time and not just Christmas time.

Cristi Sturgill
Cristi Sturgill4 years ago


Valeria Azuma
Valeria Azuma4 years ago

Should be done all year long

ilse D.
.4 years ago


Marianne Good
Past Member 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Ashley J.
Ashley J.4 years ago

Thanks a lot!

Tina Scislow
Tina Scislow4 years ago

Fantastic! If only all of us could give back.

Robert O.
Robert O.4 years ago


Reka B.
Reka b.4 years ago

thank you

Past Member 4 years ago

with work and everything, it can sometimes be really difficult to volunteer and give back...we always volunteered all year long...during the holidays when our sons were young, i took vacation...when they were older...i volunteered to work so that those with young families could be home with's just one way to pay sons have continued this practice...