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Racine County has a rich history of giving among its residents. Over the years, thousands have donated time, efforts, money and material goods all in the name of making our community better place for all. This holiday season is no different.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, make the holidays heartfelt this year. Whether you choose to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa – or maybe you celebrate multiple holidays – keep the giving spirit at the forefront of your intentions.

The true meaning of giving isn’t about purchasing the most expensive present. It’s not about scoring the biggest sale.

It’s about giving from the heart. It’s about supporting our community. It’s about reaching out and extending a hand to those in need.

These five acts of giving can make a big difference without spending a penny this holiday season.

1. Support local & small businesses

Want to learn more about the businesses in our community? Visit the Racine County Eye’s Business Spotlight page to read stories of many of our local and small shops.

    • Write a positive review
    • Follow, connect and engage on social media
    • Sign up for their newsletters, emails or texts

Racine County is full of thriving local and small businesses. You may not have the need to shop at a particular location, or the financial ability to support all of them this holiday season, however, you can still make a big difference:

5 free acts of giving to accomplish this holiday season
When thinking of buying gifts for the artistic people in your life, consider local artists like those featured at Mahogany Gallery, 1422 Washington Ave., in Racine. Follow them on social media, or take a tour of the gallery and write a review. Here, owner Scott Terry is shown speaking with Loren Lamoreaux of the Racine County Eye about the charitable efforts the gallery hosts in 2022. – Credit: Loren Lamoreaux

2. Volunteer with local nonprofits

Give your time this holiday season to local nonprofits. Their vital services can’t be done without the help of committed volunteers. Look for a nonprofit that has a mission you support or interests you and give your time to something bigger than .

Dan & Rays Rendering Thanks Thanksgiving Feast
The team of volunteers, all dressed in festive orange during the 2016 feast. – Credit: Dan & Ray Rendering Thanks Facebook page

Not sure who to volunteer with? Check out the Racine County Eye’s Giving Tuesday page. Donating your time is not only a free way to make an impact; it can also be of great significance in someone’s life.

Looking for an upcoming event at which you can volunteer? Learn about how you can get involved in the 13th Annual Dan & Ray’s Rendering Thanks Thanksgiving Feast.

Want to give more than your time? You can share the Giving Tuesday guide with family and friends for an extra way to give love to local nonprofits. While not free, you can also make a monetary donation, perhaps if you are not in the place to do so, encourage others to.

Share the Giving Tuesday guide with family and friends for an extra way to make a difference to local nonprofits. Want to give more than your time? (While a monetary donation is not part of our “free acts” of giving, we would be remiss if we didn’t encourage it. Our Giving Tuesday guide is full of worthy organizations that truly make our community a better place. And if you are not in the place to do so, encourage others to.)

3. Acts of service

Lend a helping hand to a neighbor in need. There are plenty of ways to extend kindness to fellow community members. These are tasks that you can do for free for someone else this holiday season:

    • Shovel someone’s driveway
    • Help set up someone’s outdoor holiday lights
    • Collect and deliver their mail (ask permission first)
    • Offer to take someone’s shopping cart back into the store or cart collection area
    • Help wrap presents
Santa in a Shoebox
Volunteer elves are hard at work at a 2021 gift-wrapping party for Santa in a Shoebox at Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly on Washington Ave. in Racine. – Credit: SIAS

The people of Racine County have been providing acts of service that are making a tangible difference in other people’s lives. Read about middle school students who raised money for local veterans, students who are helping develop a prosthetic for a dog, or the 9-year-old who saved her classmate from choking.

4. Donate

This holiday season it’s likely that more clothes, shoes, and other items will make their way into your home. In attempts to make space for the potential new gifts you’ll be receiving, you can donate to local shelters or thrift stores.

Volunteers visit with one another during a brief lull in the action at the 2014 Christmas Day Brunch at the Hospitality Center. – Credit: Racine County Eye

Local spots in Racine County:

5. Stay healthy through the holidays

The holidays are a great time to spread cheer, but unfortunately, germs too. This holiday season, a great way to give is by not giving your family, friends, or fellow community members any illnesses.

By doing your part to stay healthy, you can give others a healthy holiday season. Ways to take care of yourself and others include:

holiday health safety, covid Christmas ornament
Not everything is meant to be shared with loved ones this holiday season. Do your part to keep friends and family members safe while enjoying each other’s company at celebrations by considering the options on our “stay healthy” list.

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