7 Thoughtful Ways to Give Back

We all want to raise thoughtful, kind, well-mannered children, but how do you actually do that? Cue the holidays when everyone is out of school and obsessing over their wish lists. These 7 ideas will keep them busy, spread kindness, and make them realize how fortunate they truly are.

Donate Outgrown Clothes & Toys
Go through your kids’ toys and clothes with them, and make a pile to donate. Once finished, go together to a local women’s shelter or charity clothes closet and drop them off. (Need help finding a shelter? You can use the database at Theresa’s Fund). You’ll make room for whatever Santa brings and teach them an important lesson about helping those in need.

Hot Cocoa Stand For Charity
Everyone does a summer lemonade stand, but how about a winter hot cocoa or cider stand, where all proceeds go to a favorite charity? Make sure your sign notes that part and watch the donations roll in. Go together to drop the money off at the nonprofit of your choice.

The Family That Volunteers Together…
Most soup kitchens allow entire families to volunteer. Having your kids serve the people there will put in front of them how fortunate they are (and maybe get them to stop talking about their holiday wish lists for a hot second).

Feed The Homeless
Come up with a hot meal you can cook in a big batch (think hearty soup, lasagne, and so on). Whip it up together and bake plenty of cookies for dessert. Pack as many lunches as you can, and drive around handing them out to homeless people.

Don’t Forget About The Animals
The holidays are a time to take care of everyone – furry friends included. Gather old towels and blankets and stock up on dog/cat food. Take it all to a local animal shelter together. If you’re in the market, keep your eyes out for a 4-legged addition to your family.

Brighten Up Sick Kids’ Days
Have the kids spend an afternoon making homemade holiday cards for kids who have to spend them in the hospital. Take the cards, along with some balloons to a children’s hospital in your area. You’ll likely just drop them at the nurse’s station for them to distribute.

Say Thank You
Have your kids take the time and thought to make cards or gifts for the coaches, teachers, and other important people in their lives to show their appreciation for all that they do for them. Take them to deliver it in person and say thank you—the recipients will be touched.

Make A Grandfriend
Whether it’s an elderly neighbor who lives alone or someone in an assisted living home, befriend a Grandfriend who may be spending the holidays alone. Make cards, bake cookies, and take them over and spend time with them. You just might make their year.