1. Clean out your pantry

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Just like an overflowing closet, we all have canned goods and non-perishables that have been sitting in the back of the pantry collecting dust. Give that stuff away! See Philabundance or the Coalition Against Hunger to donate food or volunteer.

2. Smile

smiling girl

Smiling may seem like an involuntary response to something cute or funny, but it is much more than that. Studies suggest that smiling, forced or not, can have a positive effect on your mood, decrease stress levels, and even make everyone around you feel better. And it's FREE. What happy news! Read 9 Surprising Reasons You Should Smile More

3. Give Blood

Approximately 40,000 pints of blood are used each day in the United States. Approximately 1 out of every 7 people entering the hospital needs blood. 1 donation has the potential to save as many as 3 lives. Giving blood is easy and free. Visit the 10 best Philly-area blood donations centersRed Crosshost a blood drive, or visit Jefferson Hospital to donate at this critical time of year.

4. Clean out your closet. 

We all have things hanging in the back of our closet that we haven't worn in years. The fact is there are many people who would put great use to those things. In the Philadelphia area, you can connect with Career Wardrobe, the Wardrobe Boutique, or Goodwill to drop off your used shoes and clothing. 

5. Give Your Time

Old woman

It's the sad truth that Philadelphia has a growing homeless population and the Winter nights are especially concerning. Give time at a local warming center such as the Gateway Service Center. Organizations such as Warming Philly provide clothing and shelter to the homeless, volunteers at the Southeastern PA Red Cross can serve in a large variety of capacities.

Happy Holidays to you and your family!