Spirit of Cheer

As we approach the holiday season and the anticipation of a new year, I can't help but think back on the past year. While there has been a plethora of happy memories, 2017 also brought with it too many tragedies and heartache, mourned around the world. So in the spirit of giving and giving back, we're sharing some of our favorite ways to help spread the love, both within local communities and across the globe. Keep scrollin!


I recently lost my family dog to heart failure. Guinness was a rescue pup that lived a long 13 years with us. My family has always been an "adopt-don't-shop" family, so one of my favorite organizations to donate my time and resources to are my local humane societies back home in Wisconsin. Over Thanksgiving weekend, my family spent time walking dogs and refilling food bowls in hopes of helping our furry friends find their fur-ever homes. Check your local humane societies to see how you can volunteer and GIVE HERE

Dress for Success & Arcs Value Village:

As a career driven woman, I appreciate and participate in organizations such as Dress for Success Twin Cities.  This organization empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in both work and in life. I recently assisted with a pop-up shop/clothing swap event, The Collective Market, where any unsold items were donated to Dress for Success and Arc's Value Village. I love it when fashion and charity join together in collaborative spirit. It truly demonates a community give back to help those in need. 


Amani Children’s Home is committed to reducing the number of street kids in Tanzania by providing a nurturing place for homeless children to heal, grow, and learn. I've traveled to Tanzania several times and have such a heart for the organization and the work they are doing there. You can donate HERE to help continue the tremendous efforts being made by the Amani Centre! 


Feed My Starving Children:

Founded in 1987, Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a Christian non-profit that provides nutritionally complete meals specifically formulated for malnourished children. Each meal costs less than a quarter to make and more than 90% of total donations goes directly toward feeding kids. Your gift goes a long way in the fight against world hunger. Learn how you can donate or volunteer your time to their amazing cause HERE!

Operation Christmas Child: 

Helping fill shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child has been a long standing tradition in my home. Growing up, we'd always pick two or three children to fill boxes for, stuffing them full of crayons, coloring books, toiletries and socks. We'd include handwritten notes and homemade cards, praying that our small gift would make a big impact and brighten someone's day. CLICK HERE to find drop off locations nearest you! 

And while there are countless organizations to donate to, don't forget you can spread a little love by practicing random (or not-so-random) acts of kindness to those around you! 

Why not try a few of these:

  • Pay for the coffee for the person behind you at the drive-thru 
  • Bring a meal or baked goods over to a friend who has been swamped with work 
  • Call a friend or family member for no particular reason
  • Bring in your neighbors recycling bins to their garage door 
  • Offer to help carry someone's groceries from the store to their car
  • Offer a genuine smile to a complete stranger

We'd love to hear how your season of giving has been going! Please comment and share below! 

Stephanie Zillmer