10 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season in Branson, MO

November 17, 2019

If you are like many families, the holiday season puts us in a more giving mood. We find ourselves looking for more ways to give back to our community, to make a difference, and to encourage our children to help those in need. Below is a small collection of ideas that are quick and easy, but with a big impact. A few on this list have time constraints but most are activities that you can keep doing well in to the new year!

1. Christian Action Ministries

CAM is a local outreach ministry whose mission is to provide caring assistance, in Christ's name, to people experiencing temporary crisis. CAM is a great organization to either donate food items to, or contact CAM to see what volunteer opportunities are available!

2. Shoeboxes for Soldiers

Swing by any Family Pharmacy location and pick up a care package box, fill it with an assortment of healthcare, snacks, and other specified supplies. Once filled, bring the "fully loaded" box to any Family Pharmacy location. All boxes must be completed and delivered to a Family Pharmacy location by Wednesday, December 4th, 2019 to meet shipping deadlines for Christmas. Check out the full list of instructions and specific items here.

3. Visit a local Nursing Home

Many local nursing homes will gladly accept holiday cards, personal care items, and other donations. If you really wanted to make a holiday memory for your children, put together a small group to go caroling to the residents when you deliver your donations! The residents love the chance to see new faces, especially cute kiddo faces! Call one of the many nursing homes in the Branson area to see if they would be interested in having visitors during the holidays or any specific requests of items that their residents need.

4. Adopt a Senior

For the past 3 years the Branson Senior Center has been organizing this wonderful opportunity to adopt a local senior citizen. Simply drop by the Branson Community Center or the Branson RecPlex to pick up a wish list (or email and ask for a wish list). Fill out the bottom part of your list...tear off and give to Traci, Lisa, or the front desk. Then shop for your Senior! You can return items wrapped or un-wrapped to the Branson Community Center no later than December 9th, 2019. For more information call Traci at 417-337-8510 or Lisa at 417-335-4801.

Another option is through Kate Robinson, a local Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. Kate is working with the directors of Oaks Retirement Community and Shepherd of the Hills Living to adopt all 115 of their residents. Sadly, over 50% of these residents do not have close relatives to bring them presents and the majority of the families are struggling just to pay for the health care. For a $15 donation, one of these residents will receive hand cream or foot cream, fuzzy socks, and a gift tag acknowledging who sent the gift. If you are interested in taking part in this outreach opportunity you can contact Kate at 808-381-1380 

5. Ring the Bell for Salvation Army

This is one of my kids favorite ways to give back during the holidays, not only do they get to ring a bell incessantly for 2 hours, they don't have to listen to me telling them to please stop making so much noise. There are always plenty of openings to pick up a shift at either Walmart or CountryMart locations in Stone & Taney counties. Check here to claim your date and time!

6. Shepherd of the Hills Humane Society

For the kids who are animal lovers the Humane Society is a great option to give back to our community! Whether you want to volunteer as a Dog Walker, Cat Cuddler, or to help with clean up, they can always use the help! They also accept donations of cat litter, bleach, laundry detergent, Purina dog food, and paper towels! An easy way to donate is to check out their wishlist, it is linked to an Amazon wish list, you place the order and it ships right to their front door!

7. Jesus Was Homeless

Jesus Was Homeless is a great way to spend 2-3 hours but make a HUGE impact. Whether you choose to volunteer as a Meal Maker, or work with their Meal Delivery program, you will be making a difference in countless lives. Check here to see which job would be a better fit for your schedule.

8. Cards for Hospitalized Kids

Cards for Hospitalized Kids is a charitable organization whose goal is to spread hope, joy & magic to hospitalized kids across America through handmade cards. This is a great opportunity to let your kids get creative and also brighten another child's day. This is also a project that can be done year round, they accept cards all year for holidays or everyday encouraging cards. All you need is paper and a writing utensil! You can visit Cards for Hospitalized Kids' website to see exact guidelines for what is/is not allowed and the address to send your cards to!

9. Donate Clothing and Toys to a local Charity

We all know how fast our kids outgrow clothing/toys, and how we as adults have a closet full of clothes and wear the same 10 outfits on repeat. Those clothes and toys that are no longer being used by us can serve a great purpose for others who are less fortunate. Local thrift stores, like Selfless Blessings, gives back to those who are in need in our community. Whether you have items or time to donate to this organization, it makes a big impact for the people they serve. 

10. Blessing Boxes of the Ozarks

The Branson Chamber Leadership class of 2017 installed the first community Blessing Box near Turkey Creek RV Village in Hollister. This is as simple of a project as you can imagine. The box is located at 1376 Business Hwy 65, Hollister, MO 65672. You probably already have your first donation sitting in your kitchen cabinet or in your bathroom cabinet. The box is a "take what you need, give what you can" type scenario. Simply place your new/unopened food or personal care items in the box. Someone may come by that needs the exact item you placed in the box. This is a great opportunity to do a monthly clear out of your pantry to keep food from going to waste. There are simple restrictions listed inside the box, please make sure that all of your donations match the specifications listed.

As mentioned above, most of these activities are projects that you can work in to your family schedule month after month. The needs of these organizations doesn't end when the holiday season does. They need your continued support to further their missions.

If you haven't already, check out our calendar for other activities and events in the Branson area for your kids to be a part of and subscribe to our weekly newsletter to be the first to know about new events!