There are so many ways to give back this holiday season, and it’s always fun to get the kids involved.
Of course, charity is great all year round, but what better time than the holidays to teach the kids about it? For the purpose of this article, I will focus on ways to give back during the holiday season. I will also talk about giving, even if you don’t have a whole lot to give. Many people live paycheck to paycheck and sometimes don’t think about the simple things they can do to make someones day better. There are so many people that could use some holiday cheer and who better to give that then kids? Click on the section title for a link to the charity website.
Many people are familiar with Toys for Tots, so I’ll start there. This charity collects new toys to distribute to less fortunate families that may not have the money or resources to give their children toys at Christmas time. You can either make a monetary donation or you and your kids can go to the store and pick out a toy to donate (which is definitely more fun and gets the kiddos involved!) There is a link on the website to help you find your local Toys for Tots donation spot.
Elderly people love kids. I can’t even tell you how many little old ladies have stopped me in the store to ooooh and ahhhh over my baby boy. I can tell it takes a lot for them to stop themselves from grabbing his chubby cheeks. The Holiday Project organizes visits at nursing homes, hospitals, or other residential places for the elderly that may not have anyone to celebrate with. Who better to spread the holiday spirit to the elderly than kids?
I’ve talked about this one in my article about traditions to start with your kids but it’s such a great program I want to talk about it again. This is a good one if you don’t have a lot to give and it’s so easy for kids to get involved. Not to mention, it will make the holidays of those that are overseas (and not home with their families). The program delivers mail to military members overseas and those in the community as well (veterans too!). Since there are less men and women overseas, there is no direct address but you can bring your mail to your local Red Cross and they will distribute it for you.
This charity is more for people who wish to give a monetary donation. It is a “catalog” of different gifts you can give, such as clean water, animals, education, health care etc. You can sit down with your kids and talk about all the different gifts and why they are important. If that’s not a teachable moment, then I don’t know what is. They have gifts ranging from $10-$39,000, so you can spend what you want and pick where it goes.
With this organization, you and your child pack a shoebox full of gifts for other kids and mail it (you can also drop it off at specified locations). You can track your shoebox to see when and where it is delivered. There is also an option to build a shoebox completely online or donate $25 and the website will build it for you. But what fun is that? It’s definitely more fun to have your kids pick out gifts that they want to give other kids their age!
Although this is not a charity organization, it is something kids can do and all it costs is the price of paper and crayons (which you most likely have anyway). You can call the pediatric unit of your local hospital and find out how many kids are currently there. They should be able to tell you this, they will not be able to tell you names due to HIPPA laws. Then, have your kids make enough cards for everyone. Ask if you can have your kids hand deliver them or if they should be mailed (different hospitals may have different rules). Another idea is to have your kids make cards for the local police stations and other emergency response locations. Have them deliver them and thank those people for their services. There are really no limit to this, so get creative!
Did you like this article? Perhaps you might want to check out Holiday Traditions to Start With Your Kids