Part of what makes this the best time of year is the giving. Here are some ways you and your family can give back.
Donate old toys
Grab a tub and ask your kids to fill it up with all of the toys they aren’t using anymore. Explain to them that they will be going to other kids who might not get any toys otherwise. Once you fill the bucket, drop it off to your local Salvation Army. DVDs, books and clothing are also good donations.
Get up early one morning after a snowfall and shovel the snow at a neighbor’s house. This can be extremely helpful for older neighbors, and who knows, maybe you’ll set off a chain of folks paying it forward.
Make a care package
Get a couple of shoe boxes together and fill them up with items the homeless need. Think about the things we use everyday like toothpaste, deodorant, thick socks, etc, and put all of that into a box. Keep them in your car and try to give them out throughout December.
Schedule some time as a family to visit your local soup kitchen, animal shelter, or nursing home to do what you can to help this year. You would be surprised how helpful even small children can be at some of these places. Feel free to call ahead to see if you can bring anything that would be of help as well, for example a lot of pet shelters are always in need of old clothes to use for bedding.
Adopt a Family
The Salvation Army has a program that will provide you with a wish list for a family who is in need. Get the kids involved with shopping and wrapping the presents.