8 ways to give back this holiday season

Thanksgiving came and went, and you realized how grateful you are. Now you want to give back, but you’re not sure how.

Here are a few suggestions on how to pay it forward this holiday season.

1. Donate to an area food pantry
Foodpantries.org compiles a list of food pantries by city (
see Dayton’s here) and provides phone numbers and addresses.

2. Songwriter’s Solstice: Food Bank Benefit at Ghostlight Coffee
From 4-6 p.m. on Dec. 19 and 4-9 p.m. on Dec. 20, bring $5 or 3 nonperishable food items to benefit Foodbank Dayton. Presented by Society of Neutral Angels, the event is win-win: donate to those less fortunate and listen to some original music from area songwriters.

3. K99.1 FM Country Bands Together: A Concert Benefiting Children’s Hospital
Another chance to listen to music and support a great cause! Little Big Town, Big & Rich and more at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Nutter Center.

4. Donate goods, money, or time to Homefull
This is a nonprofit that helps people find and keep jobs and homes. From being a computer lab aide to help people find jobs or assembling starter kits for people moving into their new home, there’s plenty of opportunities to help out.

5. Donate to Music & Memory
If you get a new iPod, don’t just shove your old one in a drawer and forget about it. Donate it to Music & Memory, a nonprofit that trains caregivers to provide personalized playlists for people struggling with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and similar challenges. The music acts as a form of therapy, easing anxiety and depression.

6. Donate to Liters of Learning
This nonprofit, founded by Dayton native Treva Wynn, works in rural villages in Guatemala to empower communities with education. They build schools with recycled materials, and your donation can help with a new school being built in Spring 2016.

7. The Surrealist Ball: A Fundraiser for STRONG
From 8-11 p.m. on Dec. 12, get dressed up and support STRONG––a program to prevent and treat the physical, emotional, and sexual victimization of children, teens, and young adults.

8. Don’t overlook what you could do for family, friends or neighbors
Visit your grandparents. Call a friend who lives states away. Invite a neighbor over that might be spending the day alone. The holidays can be joyous for some but stressful or melancholy for others. Never underestimate what a small gesture of kindness can do.