It’s that time again! You’re nearly ready to don your red suit or spin the dreidel and shower your little darlings with holiday gifts (albeit fewer and cheaper this year). But before you wrap those treasures and stuff them into stockings or by the (unlit) menorah, take a minute to make sure your family has not lost the spirit of the season in the madness of all the list-making and shopping. Be sure you’re kids have experienced some giving themselves. With the economy at an all time low, now more than ever, teaching our kids about charity really matters. It’s a fulfilling gift itself to know we have helped those in need.
Teaching your kids how to give back to the community is easy and can be a great bonding experience for your family. Just where do you start and how can your family get involved? The List has complied ten ways for your family to give to someone in need this year. From pooling from your little ones’ piggy banks toward a family charity donation, baking holiday cookies for a lonesome neighbor, or cleaning out some closets to compile what doesn’t fit or isn’t working anymore for you but will be much appreciated by someone else—this holiday season is an opportunity for your family to come together, think of others and be reminded of just how lucky we all are.
The List: Ten Ways Your Family Can Give Back
- Ask your children how they want to give to someone this season- you’ll be surprised at the great ideas they can come up with!
- Charity donation- Ask your kids to share money from their piggy banks towards a family donation to a charity of your choice—it doesn’t have to be much, just teaching them to donate some of what they have is the value here. Visit charitynavigator.org, to decide together where to send your money.
- Bake up some cheer- Take an afternoon or night and bake some holiday cookies. Take the treats over to a neighbor’s or to a senior center in your area for some snacking and much appreciated company.
- Early spring cleaning- go through your closet and give away items that no longer fit or interest you, have your kids do the same. Take these items to Goodwill, Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club, or any other clothing and shoe bins which can be found around parking lots in town.
- Holiday Cards- Create holiday cards for troops. Even your older kids can get involved in writing a special thank you to those who protect us every day. Visit lettertothesoliders.org for information about sending holiday cheer overseas.
- Food banks- Sort through your pantry closet and or have the kids help you pick up items at the grocery store that they think a family would like to eat. Canned goods and non-perishable items are always appreciated. Look online for donation spots in your town (schools, coffee shops, etc.).
- Giving x2- Do your holiday shopping at stores and brands that give back with each purchase: TOMS Shoes and Eyewear, Gap (RED), Save the Children, and many department stores now support charities like St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
- Support your local farm- Buy your Christmas trees or holiday food from a local farm and while you’re there pick up some gifts like organic wine, jam, etc. Supporting your local farmers is always better for the environment and your kids will have a great day outdoors.
- Adopt an Animal- Family pet on the wish list? Adopt an animal in need of a loving home!
- Adopt a Family- The Salvation Army’s program where you can give a family exactly what they need. You can give the kids a shopping allowance (or match some of their donated funds) and have them pick out presents they want to give using the family’s list as a guide.
Share your favorite ways to give back at Couposh.