Finding ways to give back to the community is wonderful year-round. Yet, during the holidays, most kids and teens have days off from school for winter break and many of us are reflecting on all of the things we’re thankful for, which is why it’s the perfect time to get your kids involved in spreading holiday cheer and learning the importance of helping others. At The Brace Place, we firmly believe in giving back to the communities that have supported our Claremore and Tulsa orthodontic practice and it makes us so happy when our patients and their families embrace service and volunteerism too. Not sure where to start? Here are seven great ways to give back during the holidays in the Tulsa area:
- Participate in Gifts of Hope – Youth Services of Tulsa holds its Gifts of Hope Campaign every year to brighten the holidays for their young clients. The nonprofit organization serves homeless and at-risk youth in the Tulsa area. Some of the kids have never received gifts before, while others are so busy struggling to find food and shelter that they don’t get to enjoy the holidays. Through the program, you can “adopt” a youth. You’ll receive a wishlist that you can shop from. Fill out a form to adopt a youth here. Gathering gifts and supplies as a family could be fun or you may even want to hold a drive in your neighborhood and adopt more than one youth. The organization also has a host of volunteer opportunities in Tulsa for groups and families.
- Become a Salvation Army Volunteer – The Salvation Army has a number of holiday volunteer opportunities for youth in Tulsa. In addition to taking part in the Angel Tree program where you adopt a family for Christmas, families and groups (ages six and up) can do a day of ringing collecting funds at one of many locations in the Tulsa area as part of the Christmas Kettle Campaign. They also need volunteers to pack food, sort gifts and help with receiving donations. Check out all of the ways to give back during the holidays with the Salvation Army and register to volunteer here.
- Donate or Volunteer at Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma – At The Brace Place, we have so much respect for the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and the amazing work they do. That’s why we’ve teamed up with them and we’re donating $50 to the food bank for every new patient start in the month of December! If you’re considering getting braces or Invisalign in Tulsa or Claremore, begin treatment with us in December and it’s a win-win! The Food Bank also has different ways to give back to the community. Take part in one of their McAlester or Tulsa volunteer opportunities as a family. Or, organize your own food and fund drive and donate in time for their busy holiday season.
- Create a Christmas Care Basket for Volunteers of America Oklahoma – Volunteers of America in Tulsa serves over 2,500 of Oklahoma’s most vulnerable individuals. They’re now accepting donations of Christmas baskets through Tuesday, December 11. Give gloves, hats, scarves, hygiene and household items and other basic necessities and put them in a box, laundry hamper or grocery sack. Drop your basket off to the organization at 9605 E. 61st Street, Monday through Friday between 8:30am and 4:30pm. You can see the list of suggested basket items on the organization’s website.
- Be a Tulsa SPCA Volunteer – Spread holiday cheer to furry friends by becoming a Tulsa SPCA volunteer. The organization accepts volunteers ages nine and up, though those under 16 will have to volunteer with a parent or guardian. Volunteer opportunities include administrative work, customer service positions, cat and dog socializers, mobile adoption center volunteers and more. If you’re short on time, you can also gift dogs and cats items from the SPCA wishlist.
- Help Meals on Wheels – Volunteer with Meals on Wheels. Deliver meals (a route takes about an hour) to your neighbors in need and bring the kids along. Since many of the recipients are homebound, you might be the only person they see all day. So, you’re not just delivering food, you’re also delivering much needed human interaction. Fill out a volunteer application online. The organization also has a Youth Ambassador Program where kids and teens can make crafts, cards or do other service project activities.
- Volunteer at Iron Gate – Last, but not least, in our ways to give back during the holidays is volunteering at Iron Gate, a local soup kitchen and grocery pantry. The organization has volunteer opportunities in Tulsa in the soup kitchen (serving community meals, clearing tables and cleaning plates) and in the grocery pantry and kids’ pantry (stocking shelves, distributing groceries, repackaging food and kids’ packs). They also need volunteers to answer phones, do data entry and take part in special events and projects. Fill out a volunteer form here.
Let’s make this a holiday season of giving back! And, remember, if you’d like to do good while you straighten your teeth, start your orthodontic treatment in December at The Brace Place and we’ll donate $50 to Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Book your free consultation to learn more!