11 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

Posted by Kim Washington on December 6, 2018

It’s the season of giving, and here at Binghamton University and throughout Broome County, there are plenty of ways you can make a difference in someone else’s life. Our Center for Civic Engagement offers a number of opportunities to give back, and we’ve listed just a few of those here. So go on and get involved, and don’t let the ‘giving’ stop when the season does.

Help battle hunger on campus

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Donate to Binghamton University’s Bear Necessities Food Pantry, which provides food and toiletries to students in need. You can give non-perishable food items and toiletries to the pantry, located in UUW-205.

Brighten a child's holiday

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Contribute to the smiles and laughter of children this holiday season with a toy donation. Toys for Tots isn’t located in Binghamton, but be sure to check out their website to see if they have a drop-off site in your hometown!

The Salvation Army also accepts toy donations, so find your childhood favorites a new, loving home!

Spread joy to local seniors

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Find a local nursing home and ask what you can do this holiday season to bring some joy to senior citizens in your community. The holiday season can get pretty lonely if you don’t have any family.

Volunteer for United Way

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Contact your local United Way and learn about the many ways which you can give back to your community. United Way specializes in being the core of community volunteering, advocating and donating.

Send your appreciation to a soldier

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Send a card, letter or email to members of our military this season. Let soldiers, many of whom can’t be home for the holidays, know that you appreciate what they do for the country.

Make a small investment

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Make a difference in a Third World country by investing as little as $25 to microfinance a small business owner. When they succeed, you get your money back. With a 98.7 percent repayment rate, it rarely costs you anything, but it can make an incredible difference to someone else who needs it.

Donate to the Fall Clothing Drive

Powerful United Ladies Striving to Elevate (P.U.L.S.E.) have organized a Fall Clothing Drive with box locations in Cayuga, Smith, Endicott, Digman, Hunter, the Black Student Union (BSU) Lounge, P.U.L.S.E., Latin American Student Union (LASU), African Student Organization (ASO), and Juvenile Urban Multicultural Program (JUMP) Office. You have until the last day of classes to donate!


Prepare a holiday meal for the hungry

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Volunteering at a soup kitchen is a great way to give back, especially during the winter break, if you’re staying in Binghamton. If not, there’s plenty of other opportunities to provide a warm, hearty lunch to the underprivileged.

Clean out your closet

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Donate to Perfectly Suited, The Salvation Army or Goodwill in order to make room for incoming presents, or simply to update your wardrobe! Don’t just stuff your old clothing in a drawer or throw it away -- someone out there could use an extra layer this winter. And if you don’t have clothes to donate, Knock Knock Give a Sock is a program that collects only socks!  

Get involved with the Broome County Council of Churches

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Apply to become a volunteer and start helping out in any way you can. The Broome County Council of Churches is a local organization that collaborates with the community to help the sick, disabled, injured, the elderly and the youth, prisoners, the hungry, the homeless and the poor of Broome County.

Say "thank you"

Give thanks to everyone who has made a difference in your life! Let them know what they mean to you. A parent, sibling, friend, professor, anyone -- it will make their day a little brighter, and yours, too.


Find out more ways to give back this holiday season from our Center for Civic Engagement

Kim Washington is an intern in the Office of Media and Public Relations and an undergraduate student in the BA English Literature and Creative Writing Program. She loves writing and reading, dancing, cooking and watching movies. 

Have questions, comments or concerns about the blog? Email us at social@binghamton.edu