For those in recovery, the holidays can be an incredibly challenging time of year. This holiday season won’t be any different, but for many, this year brings new challenges. In addition to the familial pressure that comes with this time of year, many feel the added stress of isolation and loneliness.

In an effort to spread some much-needed holiday cheer this season, The Bridge to Recovery is asking our friends, family, and alumni to join us in our Kindness Campaign. We have identified a few ways to help give back - including a few organizations that give back all year long. 

USPS Operation Santa

Step into St. Nick’s boots, adopt the letter of a hopeful child or family and help fulfill their holiday wish.
Learn more about participating in Operation Santa

Cards for Hospitalized Kids

You can help brighten a child’s day through Cards for Hospitalized Kids, a nationwide, year-round program that collects and sends uplifting notes to kids in hospitals all over the country. They accept both holiday cards and general words of encouragement.
Read the instructions and learn how to send a card

Operation Gratitude

Support deployed troops through Operation Gratitude’s Virtual Volunteerism program. Individuals, groups, and businesses and participate in a variety of virtual volunteer campaigns such as writing letters, organizing a collection drive, or knitting hats.
Learn how to be a virtual volunteer

Feeding America

Feeding America reports that food insecurity is on the rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many Americans are turning to food banks for the first time. If you are able to, consider donating canned goods and other non-perishable pantry items to a local food bank.
Find your local food bank

If you are looking for a few low or no-cost ways to help others (while social distancing) during the Holidays and beyond, try one of the following:

Donate Blood

Participate in a blood drive or donate blood to a blood bank near you.
Sign up for an upcoming blood drive
Find your closest blood bank

Donate Clothes, Blankets or Books

Donate gently used cold weather clothing such as boots, coats, sweaters, and gloves.
Donate with One Warm Coat

Donate old blankets, towels, and other pet supplies to your local animal shelter or rescue group.
Find a local rescue group

Donate books to your local public library or Little Free Library.
Find your closest public library
View the Little Free Library map

Find a Pen Pal

Brighten the spirits of those who are often most isolated during the holidays, sign up to be a senior pen pal and write to elders in senior communities.
Learn more about Love for Our Elders
Participate in Just Serve

Finally, we want to encourage you to help those in your community with a random act of kindness .It’s true what they say, one act of kindness leads to another. Even a small gesture of goodwill can have a ripple effect of positivity. Below are a few suggestions to help inspire you.   

Random Acts of Kindness

  • Check in on an elderly neighbor, offer to help with an errand or a contact-free chore, such as raking leaves or shoveling the driveway
  • Spread the word about your favorite local business by writing a review or sharing a post on social media
  • Give a stranger a compliment
  • Write a letter to an old friend, an old teacher, or someone you admire
  • Order pizzas to be delivered to your local grocery store, hospital, or other essential business
  • Pick up litter on the street or in your neighborhood park

Planning your own random act of kindness? Tag us on social media so others can find ideas and inspiration.

If you can’t, or aren’t able to, participate now, most of these initiatives are year-round. Don’t feel pressured to give back by January 31, kindness has no deadline. Give when you are able to, where you are able to.

Even the smallest act of kindness can make a meaningful difference