Many families engage in charitable activities throughout the year and during the holiday season as well. But moms and dads often give back on their own time, and as a result, kids don’t learn about charity, generosity, and gratitude for the community until they are older. Involving your kids in your acts of kindness this year can help them to more fully understand the opportunities available to them to give back as they grow up.
- You may already be donating canned goods through a local food drive organized by your school, church, community center, or workplace. Bring your child to the grocery store with you and ask her to help you to pick out sustaining, protein-rich canned goods such as soups, lentils, and beans, or child-friendly good like canned pastas (animal shapes are always a hit).
- Your local homeless shelter may begin to get crowded at this time of year, and shelters often need more than food. Towels, toiletries, blankets, and books are usually welcomed by shelters, and you can ask your local homeless shelter what they may need. Again. Bring your child with you to pick out items.
- Do you prefer to donate financially? Talk about the variety of charitable organizations that need financial support with your children. Young children may not know that there are organizations which feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and provide medical aid to the ill worldwide. Talking to your child about these organizations will help her realize how much help people across the world need, and choosing an organization to donate to will teach her the importance of uplifting these organizations.
- Animal shelters are sometimes overlooked when it comes to giving supplies. Many of these shelters have specific types of food and litter that they regularly use, but are short on pet bedding toys, and essential cleaning supplies like bleach and paper towels. Call you local shelter and ask them what they need.
- Who in your community do you appreciate most? Your children’s teachers spend countless hours helping to shape them. Police and firefighters provide services which keep the community safe. You and your child can bake together and bring a tin of cookies or a tray of brownies to the community members you feel most connected to this time of year.
Does your family already maintain a strong tradition of giving back during the holidays? Have you been able to involve your children in your activities? Inspire other readers by telling us about your tradition in the comments section!