The colder months tend to be the times when we reflect on all of the things we are thankful for. While most of us are inside under a warm roof sipping hot chocolate watching reruns of Elf and The Grinch, not everyone is as fortunate. Here at Salsarita’s, one of our highest values is giving back to the community – whether that’s in local market or on a national level. We donated over $20,000 nationally to No Kid Hungry in September, thanks to our valued guests’ participation. Locally, our Louisville franchisee is geared up to raise almost $10,000 for the local children’s hospital, and our Knoxville franchise also partnered with a local children’s hospital this year to help them raise funds as well. Here are a few ways to get creative and spread the holiday cheer, generosity, and compassion:

1. Donate to a food bank

Many local shelters and food banks always need non-perishable food items, but the need is even higher around the holidays. Consider making a grocery run for your local shelter! Find your local food bank here.  

2. Adopt an Angel from The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program

For a more creative way of giving back, adopt an Angel Tree family or child. When you pick a name from the tree, they often come with simple requests for specific guests that they would love to have. Make it a family affair and let your kids shop for your Angel Tree recipient!  

3. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen

Give back to your community with something more valuable than money – time. Whether it’s just you or the whole family, heading to your local shelter or soup kitchen to hand out meals is a great way to give back and meet wonderful people this holiday season.

4. Volunteer or donate to your local animal shelter

Humans aren’t the only ones that need help during the colder months. Consider volunteering or donating to your local SPCA or Humane Societies to give back to the pets in the area. As the weather turns colder, they’re looking for old blankets and towels along with the regular items, such as food and monetary donations. Want to make a lasting gift? Consider adopting a pet from a shelter and give it a forever loving home!

5. Donate gently used toys

What’s a great way to give back and de-clutter the house? Donating your gently used toys! There are many programs out there happy to have your older toys, especially during a season where children in need may not have access to any.

6. Pay it forward

If you’re looking for a way to help, even on your way to work, consider paying it forward when you’re in line to get your morning coffee or breakfast. Most drive-thru’s will let you pay for the car behind you, which can often lead to a chain reaction of kindness.

7. Shop Amazon Smile

You’re most likely already ordering gifts on Amazon, so why not give back in the process? When you shop on Amazon Smile, proceeds of your order go to the charitable organizations of your choice.

8. Buy gifts for troops

Holidays are hard for our troops currently stationed overseas. The “season’s greetings” may be few and far between over there, but luckily you can help bring a smile to a solider right from your computer. The USO has set up several ways you can make spirits bright for our troops. Simply select a gift, and you’ve already made a difference!

9. Bake for others

We’re all pressed for time while trying to manage the chaotic schedule of the holidays. Spend quality time with your family making baked goods for local nursing homes, teachers, neighbors, firefighters and more! Many public service employees are working around the clock, so a simple sweet treat could mean turning their whole day around. Isn’t that what the season is all about?

10. Tip generously

Perhaps the easiest way to spread a little more holiday cheer? Consider adding an extra few dollars when tipping to truly make someone’s day. Whether you pick one from this list or tackle them all, any gift of giving is appreciated. From all of us here at Salsarita’s Fresh Mexican Grill, we wish you and yours a very happy holiday season!

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