If you're looking for a way to 'give back' this holiday season, we have a few suggestions of organizations that could use your help.

For me, the holidays are about giving, rather than getting. Now, don't get me wrong. I enjoy receiving gifts as much as anyone. But I get even more pleasure out of finding the perfect gifts for family and friends and watching their faces when they open them. I guess I get it from my Mom, who has always loved Christmas. I remember years when my kids were young when buying those special gifts was nearly impossible. They sometimes settled for the $2 checkers game and a few Hot Wheels cars, because that's all I could afford.

So, when the holiday season rolls around, I think of other families who are in that same position. I know how heartbreaking it is when you can't provide gifts for your children for Christmas, or when your holiday meal consists of chicken nuggets and boxed mac 'n cheese. (one sad Thanksgiving I'll never forget)

Each year, I find a holiday assistance program and donate. Sometimes, it's a toy for a child in need. Other years, it's the turkey for their table. And when the spirit really hits me, I'll do both. There are a lot of agencies that provide this kind of help. You just have to know where to look.

I know there are probably programs that I've missed, but I put together a list of 10 Holiday assistance programs that you can use to help brighten the season for your neighbors.

10 Ways to Help Brighten the Holiday for Mainers in Need

Maine's charitable organizations have a variety of ways for you to help others this holiday season.

10+ Cool Gift Ideas that Will Also Benefit a Maine Non-Profit

Giving these gifts to your loved ones would also support agencies that give back every day to our communities.

20 Ways Maine Residents Can Celebrate Safely Over the Holidays

Health officials say holiday gatherings can be good, as long as they're done safely.