Here are 25 ideas to get you started.
It’s that time of year where, traditionally, spirits are bright and wallets are light. As we enter another gift-giving season, however, more people are looking for ways of showing their loved ones that they care without the excess of spending or buying unnecessary things. How are they achieving this balance? By making donations be their holiday gift of choice.
Whatever you celebrate, here are 25 ways you can make an impact for a friend or family member this year, with a special twist on how each of these acts of generosity can help overall in the fight against lung cancer.
Donate your time
- The holiday season also means the snowy season. Show up with your shovel and clear the walks and driveway — a breath of fresh air for a lung cancer patient or their caregiver.
- Clean the house for a caregiver. They will never forget your thoughtfulness, and it’s a great way to honor theirs. Even better if you make it a recurring event.
- Use your talent with tools to help a lung cancer patient or caregiver with those home improvement projects that never seem to make it to the top of their priority list.
- Offer to be a mother’s helper for someone who is caring for a lung cancer patient: Pick up the kids from school or playdates, help pack lunches, or do the after school activities run (don’t forget the snacks!).
- Take #4 one step further and take care of a patient’s or caregiver’s kids for a full day. Organize a board game day for the kids at your house, take them to the park or sledding or skating. Not only will this help the patient or caregiver, it will let their children be carefree kids for a day.
- Drive a lung cancer patient and their caregiver to a doctor’s appointment. Stop for a surprise treat on the way home.
- Offer to run errands for a lung cancer patient or their busy caregiver. Pick up the prescriptions and the dry cleaning. Take the family pet in for grooming.
- You can also offer a “self-care day” to someone who is a caregiver for a lung cancer patient. Show up early and send a busy caregiver off to the movies, out for a spa day, or golfing with buddies. Make arrangements with the caregiver’s friends so that he/she doesn’t have to make any decisions. Give the caregiver a chance to just “be.”
- Surprise! Show up at the house of a lung cancer patient and give their caregiver an impromptu break. Send them out for a walk or a coffee. Take over the patient’s care for a couple of hours.
- Donate your hair to help make a hairpiece for people who have lost their own hair due to cancer treatments. Pantene Beautiful Lengths distributes free real-hair wigs through American Cancer Society wig banks all across the country.
- Bring a dinner to a caregiver’s family. It can be as simple as pizza or your signature dish. Frozen is even better: The family can eat it whenever they want.
- Donate blood. Always necessary and immensely helpful. Find a blood drive in your area.
- Bring a box of Hanukkah candles and maybe some chocolate gelt to help a family celebrate. Patient or caregiver, stocking up the house for holiday celebrations can become a burden. You can lift it with this simple gesture.
- Help a family in the midst of a lung cancer battle bring in some holiday cheer. Decorate someone’s Christmas tree or house. You can even offer to pick up the tree.
- Even better, help those same people take down their decorations and put them away.
- Be the gift wrapper for a family of a lung cancer patient and/or their caregivers. That way, everyone will be surprised on Christmas morning!
Donate your talent
- Organize a group to go caroling. Ask for donations along your route to share with a valued cause (such as Lung Cancer Foundation of America).
- Make hats for people who have lost their hair to chemotherapy. Bring them to a cancer center near you.
- Take the model of LuLaRoe up a level: Organize your crafting buddies to make and sell items in an at-home boutique and donate the proceeds.
- Are you a hair or makeup stylist? Donate your services to a caregiver and/or lung cancer patient. Even if you aren’t a pro, you can bring a bottle of polish and have a manicure session paired with some good conversation (and maybe a few laughs).
Donate your treasure
- Start a fundraiser for lung cancer research. It can be as simple as a lemonade stand or book sale. It can be as unusual as a video game tournament or a yoga class. Every dollar raised at every fundraiser gets us all closer to finding a cure for lung cancer.
- Donate an auto. Convert an unused (or unusable) car, truck or RV into a tax-deductible donation.
- Make your online purchases through Amazon Smile. When you purchase through the Lung Cancer Foundation of America link on Amazon Smile, a percentage of your purchase price is donated back to the organization.
- Donate your unused gift cards. At Charity Gift Certificates.org, you can exchange your store and restaurant gift cards for a charity donation to Lung Cancer Foundation of America. You will receive a tax receipt for the entire full value or any unused balance of your card.
- Start a GoFundMe account and get sponsors to support you in your favorite “personal best” endeavor, like LCFA volunteer Alexis.