Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Give Back During the Holidays
I love giving to others during the holiday season. Whether it’s the perfect gift for a friend or an item to someone in need, giving to others completes my family’s holiday traditions. Children have a tendency to get so wrapped up in getting gifts at Christmas time. When my daughter was a toddler, I set out in a mission to involve her (and now my son) in easy ways they can help us give to those in need during this jolly season. We don’t have a large sum of money to give or a tremendous about of time to donate to a cause, but my family is blessed to have a little to share with those who need it more than we do!
Here are few simple and inexpensive ways we enjoying sharing with others and Christmas time.
Make a donation, do laundry or walk pets at a local animal shelter or adoption house
On your next grocery run, spend a few dollars on a bag of dog food or a box of pet treats. Stop by a local shelter or dog adoption center or event with your little ones to drop the supplies off to homeless animals. Many animal shelters will also welcome volunteers to wash laundry, walk dogs and accept donations of old towels, blankets and chew toys to keep the pups happy while awaiting their new homes.
Donate leftover new toys from other holidays to a Toys for Tots drive
I save duplicate toys that may be received as gifts throughout the year, and then at Christmas time, we drop off these new unopened toys to a Toys for Tots collection bin.
Make Cards to be sent to military or to be distributed in medical facilities
Take advantage of this project to clean out craft supplies while honoring military who will appreciate a little holiday cheer.
Hand out a few snacks to those in need
During the winter months I try to always have a few extra snacks on hand in my vehicle and hand them out to those in need as we run our holiday errands.
Donate canned foods to a food collection bin
Food bank collection bins are easy to find especially during the holiday season. I usually have several non-perishable food items leftover from hurricane season ready for donation, or I let my kids pick out a few canned goods at the grocery store. Most grocery stores house collection bins making this a quick and inexpensive way to give to those who need it most.
Pick up litter at a local park or green space
This self explanatory task is easy to arrange based on your own schedule. I do recommend everyone wear gloves for this activity and be sure to remain in safe, well-lit areas.
Collect spare change to place in Salvation Army Red Kettles
Every few cents make a difference. Send your kids on a scavenger hunt in your house or car to find spare change to donate next time you come across a Salvation Army kettle. I also encourage my children to give a little out of their own piggy banks.
Donate coats to a coats for kids collection drive
Colder temperatures raise the need for coats especially for children in needs. Check your local non-profit organizations for coat donations sites. Many programs will take gently used coats that can be cleaned out of your closets and passed on to those in need.
Clean out linens and donate to a homeless shelter
During the cooler months, homeless shelters can have a need for more linens to keep those in need warm. Get your family involved and clean out your linen closet to make a donation. Many churches will accept these items if you are uneasy delivering to a shelter independently.
It’s never too early to teach your children how to give back to those who need it most. During this season of generosity and giving, get the whole family involved and spread good cheer!