Remembering Others This Holiday Season
We try to teach our kids that there are always people who have less than we do and to be grateful for what we have. We also try to teach them that we can do little things and big things to help make a difference in someone's life. However, be careful when donating. Know the facts. Research how much of your donation goes to those in need versus administration costs.
- Heifer. Heifer does great work in helping those in need. You can donate various amounts of money, which are used to provide people with live animals. These animals provide food and can even provide a source of income to many families by selling the eggs, milk, etc. from the animals to create a sustainable source of income and food. You can also make a donation/gift in someone's name.
- Emergency Wool Blankets: We buy these and donate them to a local shelter. There are so many who don't have homes near the holidays and it can be really cold where we live.
- Send care packages to those who serve in our military
- Time: There are so many options to donate your time: volunteer at a food bank or local shelter, visit a retirement home, drive donated items to a shelter/hospital/school/etc.
- Ronald McDonald House
- Food: Both of my kids schools have a canned food drive during the holiday season. Many families are suffering this economy and the holidays are even worse. By having my kids bring in items, I can help teach them that there are those who are in need.
- Clothing: My son's preschool has a Mitten Tree every year where the children can bring in hats, mittens/gloves, scarves to place on the tree that are given to children at local schools in lower income areas. Local charities often have a Food/Clothing drive around the holidays.
- Toys: Toys R Us and many stores have toy drives. You can donate toys to give to local children who may otherwise not receive a Christmas Gift. You can also donate to local hospitals. Many children have serious illnesses that will not enable them to go home for Christmas. There are also many families who will not be able to travel to visit their sick children. Donating a toy can make their Christmas a little brighter.
- Be a Secret Santa and give snow removal or lawn care services to an elderly relative or neighbor.
- The Red Cross. There are so many people in need after natural disasters like Sandy and Katrina. However, the Red Cross also helps families who are affected by fires in their homes or apartments, earthquakes, etc.
- Make A Wish Foundation
- Partners In Health
- Operation Christmas Child. Operation Christmas Child is a Christian based organization that reaches out to poverty stricken areas. They gather toys, basic toiletries (soap, toothbrushes), coloring books, etc. to send to children in poverty. The items are sent in individual boxes so the children have a gift to open. The boxes are delivered by missionaries and the children are also given a bible. The deadline for this year was in November, but they collect donations all year round.
- Gift Cards. These can be to local grocery stores, clothing stores. Online storesmay also be a good option.
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