Wal Mart Stores : It's a tough Christmas for many Californians; here are some ways to help
Not exactly the makings of a "season to be jolly" right?
Perhaps we can help. If you're in a bah-humbug frame of mind, we offer a dozen ways to shake it off and get into the giving spirit of the holidays.
As we have in past years, we turn to the classic carol "The 12 Days of Christmas" for inspiration. Try one or two or, even better, come up with your own ways to mark this season of giving.
First day: A partridge in a pear tree
Support local growers -- whether they raise pears or any other foodstuffs. Drop by a farmer's market or farm stand; make a point of dining out at a restaurant that serves locally grown produce; or buy some local honey, lavender, olive oil or any other SLO-grown ag products to give family and friends on
Second Day: Two turtle doves
Doves being the symbol of peace,
Another opportunity to help: Purchase StandStrong holiday art cards; a set of a dozen cards is
Third day: Three French hens
Think French horns instead of French hens. Take in a musical performance, and invite a friend or neighbor who could use some company over the holidays.
Fourth day: Four calling birds
Volunteer four or more hours to one of the many local organizations calling for help.
Fifth day: Five golden rings
Christmas is anything but golden for
-- Donate to the
-- Donations to the
-- YouCaringYouCaring, an online crowd-funding platform, has created a landing page with all of its campaigns for
Sixth Day: Six geese a-laying
Help those with no permanent place to lay their heads by donating to Care Packages For Christmas. Now in its 20th year in
Seventh Day: Seven swans a-swimming
Unfortunately, not everyone is doing swimmingly this holiday season. Do your part for the health and well-being of
Remember, blood donations are unpredictable at this time of year. Regular donors may be traveling or may not have time to drop by the blood bank. And when schools shut down for the holidays, blood supplies drop, since students account for 15 percent of donors.
An added incentive: Donate between now and
Eighth Day: Eight maids a-milking
It's be kind to animals day though, you don't need to milk a cow to show you care. Instead, consider a donation to a local shelter or rescue organization. Or have your cake and eat it too by making a reservation for lunch or dinner at
And if you're lucky enough to have an animal friend at home, do something special for him or her this month, like an extra-long walk, an outing with the family or a favorite treat.
Ninth Day: Nine ladies dancing
Donate those dancing duds you no longer need -- as well as more practical clothing -- to a favorite charity thrift shop. If you have kids or teenagers who have outgrown their clothes, the Children's Resource Network of the
Tenth day: Ten lords a-leaping
Make little lords and ladies leap for joy by donating a toy or two to a local toy drive.
Eleventh day: Eleven pipers piping
Pipe up for what you're passionate about -- be it kids, education, helping the homeless, protecting the environment, rescuing animals, preserving history or curing a disease. Tell your friends and your neighbors ... join a support group ... write a letter to the editor ... donate
Twelfth day: Twelve drummers drumming
Bake twelve cookies, cupcakes or cobblers and share them with your co-workers, friends, neighbors. Another idea: Bake a dozen dog biscuits and offer them to some four-legged friends. Extra credit if they're drum-shaped.
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