This holiday season Sam and I decided we wanted to give back by donating our time and effort to the homeless in LA. It’s easy to get caught up in our own lives. Giving back is a good way to help people and it often times makes you more thankful for things you do have.

I’ve spent a lot of time volunteering at community based charities like food banks, half-way houses, missions that feed the homeless and at a center for victims of child sexual abuse (by far the most heartbreaking yet fulfilling year of my life). This year Sam and I wanted to do something that made both of us feel even more personally involved.  We  ran through multiple ideas but ultimately settled on giving out Necessities Bags to the homeless. We spent two days stocking up supplies and putting together 100 care packages to pass out to the homeless. Instead of just going down to Skid Row, we decided to spend a few days driving around the greater Los Angeles area to service the thousands of people living on the streets.  Even if you can only afford to get a few of these items and don’t have any time to donate passing them out you can keep them in your car and give them to the people you see at stoplights or on the sidewalk. This is something Sam and I will be doing from now on. It’s an easy way to help someone in need year round.

Our bags include :

Two water bottles

1 pair of socks

Granola bars

Toilet paper

Goldfish crackers

Potato crisps


Wet wipes

A toothbrush

Mini chocolate candy

Items to pass out as needed :

Pet food



Getting involved in your community is easy and doesn’t have to take up your time and money if you don’t have that to give. You can help by simply donating items like socks, gently warn outerwear, blankets, scarves, mittens, beanies, toys, and hygienic supplies to your local shelter. Consider also donating your efforts to other community based organizations like Food Banks, Youth Centers, Health Clinics, Soup Kitchens, Local Churches, Women’s Centers and other small groups that work to help people in your community.

You can also donate to the victims of the various disasters and tragedies that have happened this year. The victims of the recent hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, and tragedies like the Las Vegas shooting still need our help.

You can use Charity Navigator to find reputable community based charities that work on causes near and dear to you.