Giving Back Close to Home During the Holidays
In the midst of the season of giving, we often wonder what we have to offer our community and those in need. Most people immediately think of donating money or goods during the holidays or may offer their time at a local organization. But have you considered that your biggest asset– your home — is one of the easiest and best ways to give back? Here are four ways you can take “close to home” to heart this season.
Install a Free Library
You may have come by a shelf or little box somewhere in your community where everyone is invited to take or leave a book. This provides the public with opportunities to read and share books with others in the neighborhood. Fill with books in your home you’ve read and would like to share, or books you’re trying to get rid of.
You can buy and install your own Little Free Library outside your home and join the more than 75,000 community libraries sharing reading with their neighbors, or build your own similar structure. When you donate to Little Free Library, a portion of your contribution will be used to place Libraries in the hands of committed stewards in locations where they can have meaningful outcomes.
Host a Soldier for the Holidays
North Carolina has one of the largest military footprints of any state in the country, representing three out of the four branches of service and totaling 129, 049 in 2016. We often take it for granted that we can spend the holidays with our families, friends, and loved ones. But those serving in the military are often unable to go home during the holidays. Further, many veterans find themselves struggling with homelessness or with a lack of disposable income to travel to their families during the holidays.
Connect with local agencies and see how you can get connected with service members and veterans. Many organizations offer the opportunity to host a soldier for a holiday meal at your home and during other times of the year.
Open Your Home to Evacuees and Refugees
When a natural disaster strikes, like the recent wildfires in California or our own Hurricane Florence, entire communities are unable to return home. Airbnb launched Airbnb Open Homes in 2017, an initiative that works with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to book homes for people in need, for free. If you are an Airbnb host, you can donate your home to provide emergency shelter to evacuees. This includes people who are affected by forest fires, flooding, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. By signing up for their Open Homes program, you can indicate if you are able to open your home for free to displaced neighbors and relief workers.
Additionally, those forced to flee their country may not always have connections and financial resources to find shelter in a new nation. A spare room or unused part of the house could be a great temporary solution for these refugees while they get on their feet, especially during the holidays. Room for Refugees is a great network that offers safe, temporary homes for refugees and asylum seekers. (Here are some other ways to host refugees in your area.)
Host a Charity or Organization in Your Home
Whether you own a modest-sized home or luxury estate, offering your home to a local charity or non-profit organization for their Christmas event is a welcomed donation. The cost to rent a local space for events or gatherings is one of a non-profit’s greatest struggles. Contact a local organization you are interested in and see how your home can help lighten their financial burden this season– and beyond!
Scared of too much traffic in your home? You can always open your house up to your neighbors and other families in your community for a progressive dinner party, movie night, craft night or neighborhood meeting.
Get creative with your home’s use this holiday season, especially if you are planning to sell soon and have recent home improvements and updates to show off!
Want to chat more about the best use for your home? Contact an agent today.