The holiday season is ALL ABOUT GIVING. Finding the perfect present for family and friends, giving your extra time to spend it with people you might not see enough… but what’s just as important that some might forget is giving back to your community.



– A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals.

Most seem to forget how important their community is, as it’s something that influences you and you in turn influence every day. They give, you give – it’s a system that happens on a daily basis. During the Christmas season it’s important to remember to give back, there are tons of creative ways to really go above and beyond to help out your local area. Shorebread has compiled a list that will give you some ideas to get you started:

1.)    Deliver cookies to your local police and fire department.

-It’s a simple gesture but means SO much. Just bake some of your favorite cookie recipes and deliver them to your local precinct, as a token of appreciation for their hard work and for keeping you and your family safe.

2.)    Worcester G.O.L.D.

-Worcester G.O.L.D. (Giving Other Lives Dignity) is a nonprofit local organization providing financial aid to families in crisis, vulnerable adults, and children in foster care. Their program, Helping Hands for the Holidays, is in its 18th year and is still seeking sponsors. The program served almost 940 needy people in the county last holiday season. Community sponsors are matched up with families or individuals in need. The last day to be a sponsor is December 19th.

3.)    Toys for Tots

-Every holiday season, you should be donating at least a couple of items to Toys for Tots. Last year, locally, 7,619 toys were delivered to 344 children. Ocean City and Berlin’s Optimist Club and the Irish American Society have been big contributors to Toys for Tots this season. The last day to donate toys is the 19th.

4.)    “You’ve been Elfed.”

-This is a great, fun way to really get involved in your community! Buy 4 gift cards to local businesses… Five Guys, Panera, Chic-Fil-A, Chipotle… be creative! Grab two bags and put the gift card in one, pass it to a person inside the business and give them the extra bag so they can then pay it forward and do it next!

5.)    Donate products to Diakonia

-Diakonia operates out of two buildings in West Ocean City, Maryland where it provides emergency and transitional housing, emergency food services and counseling and assistance for its guests. Those who are in danger of becoming homeless, for whatever reason, are provided counseling, guidance and assistance in accessing a wide variety of support programs and, where necessary and appropriate, financial assistance for certain housing-related costs. Either drop off an envelope with a little money for bed linens, housing, electric bills or laundry. Or drop off items such as canned food, cleaning products, condiments, diapers, hand sanitizers, jackets, pillows, socks, toilet paper or other household items. Any little bit helps!

6.)    Donate to the Worcester County Humane Society (or your local shelter)

-Our four legged friends need all the help they can get! You can donate online OR look for coupons to help with the cost of supplies, like paper products, dish soap and laundry detergent coupons. Blankets, dog food and more are welcome as well! Check out their website for the full list, including preferred dog and cat food brands.

7.)    Pay off someone’s layaway at Walmart

-Next time you’re at your local Walmart, head to the layaway section and put $20 on someone’s layaway bill at Walmart! It’s so easy, but SO meaningful.

Let’s give back this holiday season!