6 Ways to Involve Kids in Charitable Giving at the Holidays
you are like many families your kids are busy poring over toy catalogs, making Christmas lists, and discussing plans to go visit Santa. We love making our kids wishes come true each year when they find that gift they really want under the tree, but there are many kids who go without not just at Christmas, but throughout the whole year.
This is why we've involved our kids in making sure we give back each year and think of others besides ourselves. We have many programs and ways to give back in our area and I ask you to find out ways to help in your town. It's our favorite holiday tradition.
Giving to others isn't complicated. There are so many local charities and programs looking for help as well as neighbors if you just look hard enough.
Here are some easy ways to give back:
1. Adopt-A-Family programs. We volunteer each year through our Salvation Army with the Adopt-A-Family program. We get paired up with a family of a similar size and love shopping for Christmas presents for each family member and providing them with a gift card for a nice holiday meal. I love meeting the family when we deliver the gifts and knowing that we've helped the parents make some wishes come true.
2. Toys for Tots programs. We shop every year for extra toys for kids of all ages and deliver them as a family to a designated drop-off location. Last year my kids chose to gather toys for this program rather than accept birthday gifts for themselves.
3. Volunteer at a food-shelf. Most food-shelves take families for a volunteer shift to stock shelves and help customers and they need even more help during the holidays. Donate your time as a family serving meals.
4. Operation Christmas Child – This year we packed shoeboxes for children in developing countries. This is an amazing organization and will expand your child's views to help our global communities.
5. Donate money to local charities that benefit children. My kids are taught to give a portion of any birthday or holiday money they receive to a charity of their choice.
6. Be a good neighbor. Bake cookies as a family and deliver them to neighbors, and especially the elderly. Is there someone on your block who is alone this year? Invite them over for a meal to spend time with your family. Shovel a neighbor's snow. Go caroling.
The best family traditions are those that include others – and believe me, when you involve your children in even the simplest of giving they will surprise you with how big their little hearts really are.