The Holidays can be fun, and somewhat stressful at times. Young kids tend to see this time of the year as a time to get gifts and eat whatever they want, but is that really what we want them to think? Instilling the importance of giving back is something that is very important to me. The Holidays are a time for family, friends, love and laughter, but it is most importantly a time for giving. Teaching kids giving back can really have a grand effect on their lives, and the lives of those less fortunate.
The Importance of Kids Giving Back
The Holiday season can too easily become a gift grab for kids. I recently discussed why we should teach out kids to value presence over presents, but it is even more important to teach kids the importance of giving back to those less fortunate. There are so many ways to involve your kids in charity this time of the year, and all year round really.
Cooking For Others
One thing that my husband and I do a few times a year is cook for the Fisher House. My husband will typically smoke some meat and we will deliver it to them. It has gotten to where my daughter absolutely loves helping him take the food out for delivery. We explained to her what the food was for and why we are doing this. If you don’t know, the Fisher House is similar to a Ronald McDonald house, for the families of veterans. It is a wonderful charity, and since I have many Military family members, including my husband, it is something very near and dear to us.
Hand Out Food
If you aren’t particularly handy in the kitchen, passing out food to those less fortunate is always something you and the kids can do. All you need to do is to find your local soup kitchen and find out how to volunteer. Doing this can help kids give back and also learn that not everyone is as fortunate as they are. Seeing the looks of happiness on the faces of those receiving the food is priceless, and sitting with these people can really teach anyone, especially a child, a lot about life. Children can learn, at an early age, that not everyone has enough food to eat, and that sometimes it takes a community to help those in need.
There are a lot of ways to go about donating. You can donate gently used items, or even new ones. I like to have my daughter clean out her toys a few times a year and we donate them to a local Charity. While she is picking out the toys, I explain to her that some kids don’t get new toys like she does. I try to make her understand that for some children, toys are a luxury that they just aren’t afforded.
I also like to go to my local Dollar Tree, and make up donation baskets for local charities. An amazing idea is to get products to donate to your local women’s shelter. Many of these women left with just their kids and the clothes on their backs. They are coming out of a bad situation and could use the help and support. Things like makeup, body wash, shampoo, and feminine hygiene products are always great to donate to the women’s shelter.
It has always broken my heart to hear about the elderly who are placed in nursing homes, but rarely receive any visitors. One amazing way that kids give back, is to volunteer at a local nursing home. The residents typically love to see children because it makes them think of happier times when they had little ones running around. For many, the volunteers are the only visitors that they will get. You and your children can make up little gifts and take them to these individuals who would appreciate them so much. Throughout the year you can continue volunteering as well. Play bingo or other card games and just enjoy hearing the stories of times long past.
So Many More
While these are some of my favorite ways to give back, and have my kids give back, there are so many wonderful organizations out there than can use the help. Donate clothes, donate to a food bank, teach the next generation the importance of helping others.
What are some of your favorite charities or ways to give back, not only during the Holidays but all year round?