For many of us, this season of the year is an opportunity to "give thanks" by giving back to our community in some form or another. Some do this through financial gifts, others with time or expertise. Collectively it can really make a difference. It's something I especially appreciate about this time of year.

Maybe it's on your mind to do something to help those in the community. If so, SEFCU has listed out 5 ways you can give during the holidays.

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LOOK: 'TIS THE SEASON: 5 WAYS TO GIVE DURING THE HOLIDAYS

Happy Santa
Photo: shironosov/Getty Images
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Be a Secret Santa and Help a Struggling Family

Let's face it, holidays are a hard time for struggling parents. Many families go into debt so the kiddos can have presents to open. Why not surprise one of these families by paying their layaway balance? That way they can save money for more important matters.


 

Photo: MaElena1/Getty Images
Photo: MaElena1/Getty Images
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Help Sick Children Celebrate the Holidays

I think we can all agree it stinks to be in the hospital as a kid. Especially during the holidays. Many hospitals work with parent companies to put together wish lists for their young patients during the holiday season. Purchasing an item on the list will allow hospitalized children to wake up to a Christmas gift.


 

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Treat Others to a Holiday Lunch

This is a great one, especially to honor first responders. It's easy to drop off a sandwich platter or nugget tray to show thanks for everything they do. Many have to work through the holidays to keep us safe.


 

Photo: AlexeyPetrov/Getty Images
Photo: AlexeyPetrov/Getty Images
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Donate Your Airline Miles

This gesture is one many might not have yet considered. Organizations like Make-A-Wish Foundation are thankful for monetary help but also grateful for donated flight miles. These miles are used to help fulfill children's wishes.


 

Give
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Consider Giving to a Local Charity

This is definitely a way I try to give back every year. There are many worthwhile organizations here in Abilene, like Mission Thanksgiving (coming up on November 18 at Arrow Ford). Find out the specific needs of a family and consider a charitable donation.

Photo: Mission Thanksgiving/Facebook
Photo: Mission Thanksgiving/Facebook
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Give it a try. Get into the spirit of the holiday this year by giving. There's something about sharing with others that can make you feel wonderful. It does me every time.

If the sight of garland and flashing lights is up your alley, check out this Texas restaurant that has gone all out. Keep scrolling for pictures.

LOOK: Spectacular Christmas Restaurant in Texas

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