The holiday season is a time for giving, and many people get into the spirit of the season through volunteering and donating. Giving back can also be a great way to teach the younger generation about helping those less fortunate. Here are a few ways to give back as a family.
All ages can enjoy creating items to donate, such as blankets, dog and cat toys, and beds for the local animal shelter or animal rescue.
Shop Together for a Cause
Having your family adopt a family in need can be a great way to give back during the holidays. Many organizations sponsor families, including the Salvation Army. Each family member in the adopted family will usually have a wish list, and each member of your family can pick a member of the adopted family to shop for. Wrapping the gifts and imagining their pleasure when they open them is the epitome of the holiday spirit.
With hunger in America impacting 50 million people, giving food is also a great way to help during the holidays and year-round. Consider shopping for items that your local food bank is in need of, or organizing a food drive for them where you can gather items from friends, family and your place of worship.
Many organizations, including soup kitchens, get more volunteers over the holidays but actually need help year-round. Use the inspiration of the holidays to research local groups and make a commitment to volunteer throughout the year. Even better, make this commitment as a family. If you’re not sure where to volunteer, resources such as AARP’s Create the Good or UnitedHealthcare’s Do Good. Live Well. to search for an opportunity near you.
Nonprofits also need monetary donations. You can help teach young ones about giving by offering the child an amount to donate and allowing him or her to pick what cause to donate it to.
If they’re old enough, teach them about researching and picking nonprofits. See “How to Give Smart” from Oprah.com to learn more. If possible, you can let them make the donation in person, such as stopping by the local animal shelter or other nonprofits in the area.
The ways you can give back are practically endless. Click on the links below for more ideas. You can find one for any budget or interest. The important thing is to remember the spirit of the season. Make it enjoyable and memorable by involving the entire family.