‘Tis the season not just for celebrations, but also for giving back. And while—like so many things—that all looks a bit different this year, you can still find ways to support causes that are close to your heart. My family has always enjoyed supporting different charities throughout the years. Here are a few of our favorites:

Donate to Toys for Tots®

One of the ways we like to give back during the holidays is through the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. As a Navy Federal employee, this program is extra special as the credit union has been a corporate sponsor for over 20 years—having collected more than 50,000 toys for their cause.

This year, Navy Federal wants to make sure deserving children experience the same excitement as they have in other years. Amidst a global pandemic, it’s not quite as easy to shop for and deliver a gift—that’s why they’ve taken the program digital.

It’s simple and easy to participate; just visit the donation page and choose the location you wish to donate a toy to. From there, you can select and purchase a toy from our list of different price points, and it will be sent to the location you chose. Shipping is included in the price.

Other Opportunities

There are other ways to give back to your community in meaningful ways, including a few great ways to support veterans—a cause that is very important to us. One of those is Wreaths Across America®, an organization that coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and more than 2,100 additional locations every December.

This year, Wreaths Across America will be placing wreaths on Dec. 19, 2020. You can support them by sponsoring the cost of a wreath, donating to a sponsor organization or volunteering your time to place the wreaths. In years past, we’ve both sponsored wreaths in memory of family members who are buried at Arlington and gone ourselves to distribute them.

You can look for other opportunities including local organizations like Decorate a Vet®, which is based near the Navy Federal headquarters in Northern Virginia. This organization focuses on providing home repair and festive holiday decorations for veterans in the community. Those who live in the area can volunteer to help with repairs or decorating, and anyone can donate to the cause. When we’re back home for the holidays, we enjoy driving by the houses this organization decorates as part of our yearly Christmas light tour.

Choosing How to Give Back

Regardless of how you choose to give back this season, do so in a way that feels safe and comfortable for you. Make sure the organization you’re donating to or volunteering with is legitimate and that guidelines are in place to keep everyone healthy.

Wishing you all a very joyous holiday season!

Author Bio: Amy is the editor for our Marketing Communications team, working to strengthen the messaging behind our member outreach. She’s been with Navy Federal for three years and lives in Richmond, Va. with her husband and cat.

This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.