“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” ~Mother Theresa
After our favorite traditions and festivities were put on hold in 2020, this holiday season feels a touch more magical than years’ past. The ability to gather with our loved ones (with safety in mind, of course) feels far more meaningful — there’s nothing like a global pandemic to remind us what’s truly important.
The same can be said for the importance of giving back and community. During the past year or so, we’ve seen firsthand that our actions are about more than just us — we’re all in this together. We’ve gotten to know our neighbors on a whole new level, and that includes a growing sense of responsibility to lift up our neighbors in need.
So many people in our community have experienced devastating setbacks and challenges from COVID-19, but the great news is, you don’t have to be rich to make a difference. What’s more, giving back is the best way to tap into the magic of the holidays yourself!
In the spirit of the season, here are some of our favorite ways to give back...
The Hoboken Homeless Shelter
When you’re blessed with a roof over your head, winter is a cozy time meant for cuddling up in blankets with movies and some hot cocoa. But for individuals experiencing homelessness, the reality is far different and heartbreakingly vulnerable.
The Hoboken Shelter provides food, shelter, case management, counseling, skills-training workshops, and permanent supportive housing solutions, serving more than 1,000 meals per week. There are plenty of ways to support their cause — you can make a monetary donation, drop off supplies, purchase items on their Amazon wishlist, help in the kitchen, or even lead a skills workshop. Learn more on their website.
God’s Love We Deliver
This organization is HHA founder Beth O’Boyle’s favorite! What began as a mission to help one AIDS patient who was too sick to cook for himself has grown to an operation that prepares and delivers over a million meals per year to anyone with a life-altering illness. They make only nutritious, high-quality meals, and have never turned anyone away in their entire history. It’s a pretty incredible mission!
God’s Love We Deliver is based in New York, but serves Hudson County as well. Their most urgent need is for volunteers to deliver meals, and monetary donations are also welcome. If you know someone with a chronic illness who could benefit from a nourishing meal, it’s also a great time to sign them up for a delicious surprise. Learn more on their website.
Dress For Success Hudson County
For so many women in poverty, being able to afford professional clothing is a huge hurdle to securing or keeping a job. Dress for Success is a nonprofit that strives to empower women to take charge of their lives, and they gladly accept donations of time, money or gently used professional attire. If you’re now working from home or going into the office on a much less frequent basis, donating one of your outfits can make all the difference for someone who is trying to get on their feet. Learn more on their website.
The Hoboken Family Alliance
As one of the oldest nonprofits in Hoboken, the Hoboken Family Alliance is devoted to supporting children and families and 100% volunteer-driven. Right now, their 14th Annual Toy, Book & Pajama Drive is underway to help make sure the holidays are magical for local underprivileged children and teens. You can donate via PayPal or drop off new toys, pajamas, or books at various supporting locations in Hoboken. Learn more on their website.
We’re All in this Together
Remember, you don’t have to have lots of money to brighten someone’s holiday. Helping others is the true meaning of the season, and asking yourself one simple question -- “What do the people around me need?” — can help you tap into the wellspring of generosity that lies within you. Maybe that means inviting your widowed neighbor over for dinner, sending a handwritten note of gratitude to someone, or telling your coworkers how much they mean to you (it’s all too easy to assume they know, isn’t it?).
While giving back has a way of inspiring greater wellbeing, we also don’t encourage anyone to pour from an empty cup! Come nourish your mind, body and soul at Hudson Healing Arts so that you can approach the holidays from your natural state of balance, calm, and peace. Check out our full list of healing modalities here.
As always, we are sending our wishes for a safe, healthy, and joyful holiday to all of you! We’d love to hear your favorite ways to spread holiday cheer in the comments below :)
Hannah Chenoweth is a Hoboken-based conference producer and freelance writer who enjoys covering all aspects of health and wellness.