December is packed with holiday parties, Christmas shopping and a plethora of festive events. But it’s also a challenging and lonely time of year for families facing poverty, grief and other challenging circumstances.
If you’re so inclined to pay it forward, here’s three ways to make someone else’s December brighter. (After all, if seventh-grader Emma Qualia can start her own nonprofit, this is the least we can do.)

1.) All the North Lake Highlands Youth Boxing Gym wants for Christmas is new equipment. If you’re not familiar with the gym, the public-private endeavor  provides youth activities in Forest-Audelia. The Dallas Police Athletic League and the Park and Recreation Department partnered to manage the facility’s day-to-day operations. (We profiled the gym on several occasions, and you can read about it here, here or here).

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The gym still needs equipment such as:

Equipment can be dropped off at the gym, located at the intersection of Forest and Audelia.

2.) Teens who belong to Lake Highlands Car Club want to spread some holiday cheer this weekend, but they need your help. Their goal is to collect 150 toys for children in need at their upcoming car show. Bring an unwrapped toy or $5 to the event, slated Saturday, Dec. 15, from 10 a.m. to noon at Lake Highlands High School.

3.) Donate to a number of local organizations bettering the community, such as Pamper Lake Highlands, Feed Lake Highlands, Sandwiches 4 the Hungry or ClickIt4Life, just to name a few.