Tis the Season for Giving
With the Holidays in full swing, we need to take a moment to remember that not everyone can afford a tree, presents or that yummy Christmas dinner. This time of the year can be harder on some families and for those that are fortunate enough to have all the extras, now is a great time to teach our kids how to give back and the joy you feel when doing so.
We all are aware of the usual ways to help those in need from donating to your local food banks, Salvation Army or shelters but here are a few different ideas to get the kids involved.
Adopt a Family
By deciding to adopt a family for the holidays it not only brings happiness to the ones you have chosen but it can teach your children about diversity in our society. Make this a family affair right from the start. Sit down and explain to your kids in an age-appropriate conversation about the situation. There are many different ways you can go about adopting a family, such as visiting your local church to see if they have someone you can help or talking to your kids principal about a family they know are in need. It should always remain anonymous to your children especially if you chose a family from their school as you don’t want anything said to make the children from the family feel uncomfortable. Once you have found a family, a list of needs might be provided for you and it’s off to shop. Letting your kids help with the shopping is very important. Make sure they are included as much as possible so they get the feeling that comes with helping out.
Toy & Clothing Exchange
I first read about this idea on social media and thought how wonderful it was. A mom had set up a box for her kids to go through their rooms and give away any toys that they no longer played with or clothes they had outgrown and for every item they put in the box, they would get a new one under their tree. Depending on how many items you’d like them to contribute, you can up the ante – for every two items or five items they part with, a new one will take its place. Talk about killing two birds with one stone! You are getting rid of clutter to make room for the gifts they will be receiving as well as teaching your decision-making skills and how to donate. Be sure to bring the kids with you when you are dropping off your donation, so they can see the full circle.
There are so many ways to volunteer this time of year. If you have older kids spend the day going to homeless shelters and giving out scarves, hats, mittens or socks. Winter winds can be bone-chilling at times and providing a warm hat or gloves to someone who is homeless will be a welcomed gesture. Another great opportunity to spread a little joy involves spending a day making crafts of your choice and then visiting retirement home or children’s hospital to hand them out.
Why not consider grabbing your shovels and hitting your street to clear someone’s sidewalks or driveways. The possibilities to volunteer are endless, find the best way to suit your family.
With all the excitement that comes during the holidays for children, it’s important to teach them there is more to the season than just receiving. Show them that it’s the time of year for giving.
Written by the Midland Y’s Men’s Club
We live our motto:
“To acknowledge the duty that accompanies every right”
To find out more about our meetings, events, or volunteer opportunities, please visit our website: