Barring the resident Scrooge, many of us look for ways to give back to our local community or help those less fortunate over the holidays. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve rounded up some great ways to give back right here in Hampton Roads.

1. Lend a helping hand

A wonderful way to give back is by volunteering your time to those in need. Consider one of these local charities that could use a few extra hands this winter.

Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia

One of the best things about the holidays is sharing delicious food with those you love. Unfortunately, many people in our community simply don’t have enough to eat. Charities like the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia are helping to nourish locals in need—and you can support their efforts by volunteering or with monetary or food donations.

Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia

Many of us are fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends during the holiday season, but some cannot be with those they love. If you have time to spare during Christmas, volunteering at Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia can both warm your heart and bring joy to an elderly person’s life.

Virginia Beach Growsmart

Give a gift that lives forever this holiday season by teaching someone to read. Volunteering at Virginia Beach Growsmart is a great way to directly benefit the local community by shaping the lives of our children.

2. Too busy for volunteering? Donate.

Funding can be difficult for non-profits, particularly for grassroots organizations that do not have the resources of nationally recognized non-profits. For those looking to help locally, check out these non-profits and what they are doing to make Virginia a better place.

Hampton Roads Community Foundation

The Hampton Roads Community Foundation is one of the more expansive non-profits in Hampton Roads—and they’ve funneled over 230 million back into the community over the last 60 years.

Heart for Orphans

After adopting their own three daughters, the founders of Heart for Orphans wanted to grow their giving by helping orphaned children transition after they have aged out of state-sponsored homes. Your contribution can help this inspiring organization give them a home and the opportunity to grow.

Got CUREage

Cancer affects millions of families every year, including local ones. After this organization’s founder was diagnosed with a rare type of chronic leukemia with no cure, she started Got CUREage. This foundation is on a mission to find a cure by raising awareness and funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

3. Help a furry (or scaly) friend

If the busy holiday season makes you want to hide under a rock, but you still want to help out, consider spending time with animals! Here are some unique ways to provide support to all creatures great and small.

The Virginia Zoo

We are lucky to have a fantastic zoo right around the corner from Hampton Roads. Many animals call the Virginia Zoo home, and the Zoo is always looking for volunteers, animal sponsorships, and donations. Lend your time and you’ll get first-hand experience plus a deeper understanding of conservation efforts happening right here in Virginia.

Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter

Through the years, we have come to know and love Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter. They provide local cats and dogs with love, support, and care until they are able to find loving, “furever” homes. Consider fostering a furry friend in the new year, donating food, or even volunteering to walk the dogs.

Got more ideas for helping out locally? Let us know by sharing a comment below. Whatever your plans are this holiday season, we hope it is full of love and joy!

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