Teach Your Kids to Give Back This Holiday Season
Chances are your kids have taken part in many fundraising events through school, church, and other groups – from popcorn to wrapping paper. And they probably have a few ideas of their own about how they can help out in their community.
Kids are creating change in their communities everywhere we look by participating in projects that are important to them. The key to nurturing a passion for giving is in their connection to the cause and the ability to make it meaningful.
Here are 5 great ways your child can give back in your community this holiday season:
- Find out what your local food pantry needs and deliver it. Encourage your kids to do a food drive in your neighborhood or through your church. Or, let them volunteer at the food bank stocking shelves and packing meals. The can also volunteer at a local soup kitchen feeding the homeless.
- Visit a retirement home to play games or read books with the residents. Seniors at assisted living and nursing homes are often lonely because their families don’t visit often enough. They love having kids around. Let your child spend some time playing games or reading books to seniors. Your child will enjoy making a new friend too.
- Put together a care package for someone that could use some TLC. Is there someone in your neighborhood who could use a little extra love? Maybe an elderly person who is lonely or sick. Get your child put together a special care package for them. Include small gifts like coffee or tea, homemade treats and magazines or a good book. Have your child color a special picture to add to the box before delivering it.
- Send holiday cards to those serving in the military.
Through the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program, kids can send holiday cards to active service members, veterans and their families. The Red Cross uses community-based events for making, signing, sorting and delivering cards to fellow members of the community. Just get in touch with your local chapter for information on participating.
- Create a special “pay it forward” day. Make it “Pay It Forward Friday” and explain to your child that they have to find a way to give back in their community or pay their good fortune forward to someone who could use a little help every Friday. This allows them to choose for themselves what their good deed will be. And it will encourage them to continually think of new ideas.
Giving back can also mean giving time or sharing a portion of their allowance for the causes they support. What others ideas can you and your child come up with to give back this holiday season?