It’s that time of year! We scurry around purchasing holiday gifts, decorating our homes, and baking an abundance of cookies. It’s also that time of year we lose sight of one of the most important things we can do: give back.
I’ve lost count of how many times I say my children have “first world problems”. After all, they are living with a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. But so many times I get frustrated hearing them complain about their privileged life. Here’s the thing though—how can I fault them when I do the same thing? Complaining about nonsensical things like my online order taking too long to arrive or buying my umpteenth pair of shoes.
As a parent, my desire is to teach my children to be grateful for what we have and always remember to give back to those less fortunate; to spread love and hope. The holiday season, in particular, can be especially hard for those who are less fortunate.
There are so many ways we can contribute to our community. To help kick start your generosity this holiday season, below are a few ways your family can give back to those in need.
Ways to Give Back as a Family
Donate to Toys for Tots
This time of year, children are so focused on what they want. Help shift their focus and let them pick out a gift for another child rather than themselves. Toys for Tots is a great organization that provides presents to less fortunate children. There are a myriad of ways to donate. Check them out here.
Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen or Food Bank
Donating your family time to serving food to the homeless is a great way to teach your children how much they have. Take time from your busy holiday schedule to volunteer at your local soup kitchen or food bank. Not sure where to find one? Visit here to find one near you.
Volunteer at an Animal Shelter
Let’s not forget our furry friends! They need some lovin’, too. Animal shelters always need volunteers to help walk the animals, clean their cages, and much more. You can find a local animal shelter by going to volunteermatch.org and selecting “animals”.
Bring Baked Goods to a Nursing Home
Unfortunately, some elderly people in nursing homes have no families to visit them. This can be lonely and sad, especially during the holidays. What better way to teach your children the importance of caring for their elders than baking some yummy treats and visiting your local nursing home?
Give the Gift of Charity
Perhaps this year, instead of buying another unnecessary toy, purchase a gift card that can be put towards good. Organizations such as TisBest provide gift cards for the recipient to choose which charity they’d like to donate.
This holiday season, I challenge you to pause for a moment, and consider giving back to those less fortunate. Providing love, care, and generosity will not only offer a great lesson to your children but more importantly, help those in need.