Ideas on How to Give Back During the Holidays

by Linda – Tuesday, 19. November 2019

It’s that time of year again where the cold and dark returns, but we can look forward to some brightness and warmth fairly soon: Christmas and New Years Eve are right around the corner. Unfortunately, there are many who are in special need during this season. There are those who don’t have family, are bed-ridden in hospitals, lack enough money to celebrate, or don’t have a home to return to. While we should always give back, the harsh conditions and circumstances of winter put more stress on those who are vulnerable making it an essential time to put in the extra effort and thought.

To make this Winter a bit easier for others, we thought about giving you easy and simple ways to help. Below, we mentioned some charitable ideas and the organisations where and how YOU can give to those in need:

  • Sort out and donate some of your clothes that you don’t need anymore. Be honest – you don’t wear all the clothes you have in your wardrobe 😉


           Organization:  Caritas

  • Canned and packages goods have long shelf lives and extras can be donated to those who can’t afford groceries. Instead of throwing away healthy leftovers, give them to people who don’t have enough money to buy food for their families. You can choose to share them with neighbours as well. They will certainly be happy!

          Organization: Rotes Kreuz

  • Donate to health organizations. They provide aid and support to those who can’t access expensive health facilities and care. These organizations also need your support.


         Organizations:  Krebsliga or Lungenliga

  • Ask at the animal shelters near your home if you can go for a walk with one of their dogs or foster an animal until they find a permanent home.

          Organizations: Tierheim SurberTierheim Stubeli or Tierheim an der Ron

  • Donate your books to libraries, schools, or collection agencies. Someone else would certainly appreciate you passing on the knowledge and stories.

          Organizations:  Bücher-Brocki or Brocki Zug

  • Visit an elderly home and spend time with the people there. Play a game or simply let them tell you stories or the other way around. This makes them smile. 

          Organizations:  Tertianum Residenz Zollikerberg, Mülimatt Seniorenzentrum Zug or Alterszentrum St. Peter and Paul

  • Buy a warm tea or coffee, some blankets, and give them as a present to a homeless person. They would appreciate it, especially when it’s freezing cold outside. Another great item to buy are socks, which wear quickly and are often one of the most needed items. 
  • Offer your help to someone. It could be carrying a person’s shopping bags, cleaning someone’s car, helping the elderly or disabled get safely over the pedestrian crossing or disposing their PET and garbage.
  • Bake some holiday treats and share them with people outside, or bring them to an elderly home.

For an overview of other charities and organisations in Switzerland, you can find them here:

Nationale Organisationen & Verbände:


Life can be hectic and almost everyone is busy. The small gestures you make not only help others, but are also a great tactic for self healing. When you feel down, telling another person how great they are or listening to their problems not only gives them the support they need, but works like therapy for yourself! Helping others ALWAYS heals us.

Even just a small good deed can have a big effect. Make people happy and it will make you happy as well.