To me, Christmastime and giving go hand-in-hand. While we should be charitable all year long, this time of year is the perfect time to start or to increase you donations. I know my children and family are so very blessed, but, of course, there are so many near us that are not. We, as parents, can use this time of year, to help to teach our children the importance of giving to those in need. It can be tough to teach children the value of giving in a season when they’re surrounded by messages about the value of getting- but it can be done! Use these ideas for 5 simple ways for kids to give this holiday season to get you started on the right foot.
Donate Old Clothes or Toys
This is an easy one- kids grown out of their clothes and toys quite easily, so instead of selling or tossing them, have your kids help to donate them to a church or local organization that can give them to some children in need. Make sure that your kids help though the process- it’s much more powerful for them to be the one to decide what to donate.
Donate to an Animal Shelter
Kids love animals, so why not make a small donation to a local animal shelter or the Humane Society? Recently we did this with our kids (you can read about that here!) and it was such a powerful opportunity for them to see how just a few dollars worth of items can have a major impact on an animals life.
Bake Meals for Elderly Neighbors
If you have some elderly neighbors near you, have your kids help make simple meals or baked goods and deliver them. Often times, the elderly are home alone during the holidays, and delivering a home baked meal can be such a rewarding experience for both you and them! You can also have your older kids offer to rake leaves, shovel snow or bring in trash barrels to help as well.
Buy an Angel Tree Gift
Everywhere you go this times of year, you’ll see Angel Trees with tags of wanted gifts hanging on them. Try and take one or two if you can and have your kids help you to shop for the items. Having them be apart of this process, and seeing who little these kids actually ask for, will really have an impact on them and teach a valuable lesson on what’s really important this holiday season.
Donate to a Local Food Charity
Donating to a local food charity during the holiday season is one very close to my heart. Growing up with a single mom, we never had much to eat and were often faced to cook our simple meals on our own while our mom worked. We made the best of it, but I definitely remember the feeling of going to bed hungry, or not having the yummy snacks all of my friends had at school. Now that I am a parent and always have plenty of food to eat, I want to be sure that my kids understand how there are so very many kids and families out there that aren’t as lucky as we are. This is why I like to donate to charities like Feeding America this time of year.
Feeding America is a co-op of food banks that is leading the charge of wiping out hunger in America. They work with individuals, charities, businesses and government to try and solve the issue of hunger by raising money, collecting food and working with local communities to be sure those who are in need receive the food they deserve. The Feeding America network also provides food and support to more than 12 million children each year through programs like the BackPack Program, Kids Cafe, the School Pantry Program and the Child Hunger Corps- and to me, there’s no better reason to give than that!
Donating doesn’t have to be complicated either. This season, many well known charities, like Feeding America, Save the Children, Green Peace, No Kid Hungry and Wildlife SOS, have teamed up to make giving just a hashtag away! GoodWorld is an incredible organization that is allowing individuals to use the power of social media to donate to whatever charity they wish using “#donate” during their 12 Days of Giving. It’s that simple! On Facebook, you can contribute by commenting “#donate” with a dollar amount on any of the participating charity’s Facebook pages/post (for example, “#donate $20”). Or you can choose to use Twitter by simply tweeting “#donate” with a dollar amount and tag the nonprofit’s Twitter handle. If you’re a first-time donor, you will then receive a one-time link to register with GoodWorld and complete your donation.
I had my kids help me choose which charity we would give to, and they picked Feeding America. We just clicked on Feeding America’s Facebook page and wrote “#donate $25” in the comments, then we filled out the simple form and that was it! I encourage you to donate to any of these charities that speak to you and your family during GoodWorld‘s 12 Days of Giving from now until December 23rd, and if you want to donate to Feeding America like I did, you can do it right here! And as a bonus, during the 12 Days of Giving, if you #donate to any GoodWorld nonprofit or sign up for GoodWorld, you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a $1,000 Amazon gift card! It’s a win-win!
So this season, use what matters to you most to make a difference in the world, and be sure to have your kids help so they can understand the importance of giving this time of year.
What are your favorite ways to give back this holiday season?
Disclosure: Thank you to The Motherhood for sponsoring this discussion today! Image credit to GoodWorld and Feeding America.