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Giving back after the holidays

The holidays bring out the giving side in all of us, but for those that are less fortunate, the need for clothing and food doesn’t end just because the holidays are over. Pull together your resources and your family to help those in need all year long.

Christmas donations

Lead by example

By actively showing your children what it is like to be charitable, they will be more likely to follow your lead. Work the act of giving into your weekly or monthly routine at home to get your children in the habit. By doing this, you will give them a valuable gift and life lesson and allow them to experience the positive feeling they will get from helping others in need. It doesn’t have to be a lot and it doesn’t have to be monetary — there are many other ways to give back.

  • Volunteer your time to a charity or organization.
  • Donate new and/or used clothing and toys.
  • Donate new toys, clothing and hygiene necessities to local organizations.
  • Run a canned food drive at your child’s school or amongst your friends.
  • Donate non-perishable foods to a shelter or organization.

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A good way to teach your children about charitable giving and responsibility is through money management. With interactive tools like the Money Savvy Pig, children can learn to divide their earnings between saving, spending, investing and donating.

Tip: After saving with the Money Savvy Pig, pre-select a few charities. Then allow your child to select which one he or she would like to donate to. Take your child to the organization or donate online together.

Monday Mom challenge: Instilling philanthropy in kids >>

Donating new and used items

Now that the holidays are over, it’s likely that there’s more stuff in your house than you need or want. The kids have outgrown last year’s clothes and toys have been abandoned or forgotten. Get your kids involved in cleaning out old clothes and toys, and then donate the items to an appropriate charity or organization. Check with these organizations or a reputable organization in your area to see if they accept donations or better yet, ask what is most needed.

For new toys and clothing:

  • Children’s hospitals
  • Community resource centers
  • Child development centers

For used toys and clothing:

  • Community resource centers
  • Child development centers
  • Thrift stores that support a charitable organization
  • Local shelters

Charities and organizations

To find a charity, check out the Charity Navigator or visit these sites:

More on giving back all year

Before giving: How to make sure your charity of choice is legitimate
Top 10 charities that make you feel good about giving
Best animal charities

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