It’s easy to get so focused on brightening the holiday season for our loved ones that we lose sight of the fact that others around us struggle to provide even the most basic needs for theirs. But giving back to those in need may just be the most rewarding gift you can give yourself this Christmas.

The spirit of giving is alive and well on Cape Cod. Here are 7 ways you can help make the holiday season a bit brighter for all.

Through the Hyannis Salvation Army’s Dress-A-Live-Doll program, you can sponsor a local child in need under the age of 12, outfitting them with everything from warm sweaters, socks and pants to winter jackets and hats. The Salvation Army will assign you the child; the sponsor then delivers their gifts to The Salvation Army’s center at North Street in Hyannis. To find out how you can help, call 508-775-0364.

Katelynn’s Closet in South Yarmouth is also seeking clothing donations for families in need. New and gently used kid's fall and winter clothing and sneakers is especially needed right now, as are new sneakers and boots sizes 10 toddler to 12 adult; new underwear kids sizes 4T-18/20; and new fall and winter pajamas kid sizes 4T-18/20. Katelynn’s Closet also accepts gift cards and monetary donations to help fulfill their mission of providing local children with new clothing, and the confidence that comes with that. Find out more at

Giving back can come in many forms, and giving the gift of life by donating blood is one of the easiest ways to help. Cape Cod Healthcare will be hosting blood drives across Cape Cod all month. Click here for information on blood drive locations and dates. 

Help make the holiday season extra special for families in need with the donation of toys to open up on Christmas day. The Falmouth Service Center and Family Pantry of Cape Cod are currently hosting toy drives for new, unwrapped toys & gift cards for children ranging from babies to older teens. Make note: Falmouth Service Center’s toy drive ends December 11, and the Family Pantry of Cape Cod will distribute toys by December 17. For information on drop-off locations and gift ideas, visit or

Can you imagine what it would be like to sleep outside during the cold, harsh winter? In 2002, Bourne Firefighter and Paramedic Craig Poirier decided to do just that for several days in December, to help shed light on the plight of the homeless. Today, 17 fire departments and five police departments across the Cape have joined his “Homeless for the Holidays” cause, sleeping outside for a continuous 103 hours each holiday season to raise awareness and collect community donations of new, unwrapped toys and non-perishable food items, along with monetary donations and gift cards. This year’s campaign will run from 8 a.m. on December 6th through 3 p.m. on December 10th, at locations across the Cape. Find more information at, or on Cape Cod Radio Group stations PIXY 103, Frank FM, Y101, or KOFFEE FM.

Another annual tradition for giving back on Cape Cod is the 22nd Annual Stuff-A-Bus event at Toys-R-Us on Route 132 in Hyannis, running this year from 6 am on Friday, December 8 through  6 pm Sunday, December 10.  Local radio station WCOD will broadcast live for 60 consecutive hours from the parked school bus to raise donations of new, unwrapped toys for the U.S. Marines' Toys For Tots Program.

Tis' the season for giving back on Cape Cod!