Giving back is a great way to teach your children good values and help them grow up to be compassionate people. The holiday season is the perfect time to get them involved, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are five ways your family can do it.
Donate toys to a local children’s hospital or shelter
Your kids will love picking out toys to donate, and they’ll feel good knowing that they’re helping other kids who are less fortunate. To get started, see if there are any specific requirements from the children’s hospital or shelter you’re donating to. If not, you can simply donate new or gently used toys in good condition. Make sure to choose age-appropriate toys and avoid those with small parts or sharp edges, as they can be unsafe for younger children. And if you need some inspiration on what kinds of toys to donate, popular toy lists for kids of all ages are a great place to start.
Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food bank
Donating your time to help others can make a difference—volunteers are always needed at soup kitchens and food banks, especially around the holidays. Call them in advance and see what their needs are and find a volunteering opportunity that’s appropriate for your kids’ age and abilities. Before you head out, prepare them for the experience. Teach them how to properly wash their hands and handle food, and remind them to be friendly. With your guidance, they can have a positive impact on those they are helping.
Make a donation to a local animal shelter
Most animal shelters are in need of donations, and your kids will be sure to appreciate the gesture. It’s a perfect activity for younger kids who may not be able to volunteer their time. You can donate supplies like food, toys, and blankets to a shelter you feel good about supporting. You can also make a monetary donation. If you’re unsure of what items to donate, you can always contact the shelter ahead of time and ask for their wish list.
Adopt a family in need and help with their holiday shopping
You can make a difference this holiday season by adopting a family in need. There are a number of organizations that can help you find a family to adopt, and they’ll be so grateful for your generosity. First, determine what size family you can comfortably adopt. Then, keep in mind what kinds of gifts they would like and need, and how much you’re willing to spend. You’ll be making their holiday season so much brighter.
Collect coats and warm clothing for a local charity
There are a few different ways to collect coats and warm clothing. You can hold a drive at your child’s school or daycare, or you can put out a call for donations on social media. Whatever method you choose, be sure to only collect items that are in good condition and that you would feel comfortable donating to someone in need. It’s also a good idea to check with your local charity ahead of time to see what types of items they are in need of. With a little planning, you can make sure your donation has a big impact this holiday season.
These are just a few ideas for families to get involved in their communities. Find one that works for you, and use it as an opportunity to talk to your kids and teach them why it’s important to help those in need. By teaching your children the importance of giving back, you can help them develop into independent, thoughtful adults who are excited about making a difference in the world. For more tips on instilling a love of community in your children, check out the Celebree School blog and our early childcare and early childhood education resources.