How can families give back during the holidays?

5  Answers

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There are lots of ways that families can give back. This year we've decided to focus on giving in small but meaningful ways. We're collecting our loose change to give to a local charity. We've raided our cupboards and pulled some of our favorite foods to share with others. We've focused on making gifts and time for those we love. Giving doesn't have to be huge, expensive or over the top but it should be meaningful and make an impact. My favorite is our scheduled mall run where we don't shop but instead do random acts of kindness for others {like opening doors, buying their coffees and offering assistance where needed}. We each pick one thing we want to do for others and seeing smiles on peoples faces really makes our day. We wanted to include our Son in the giving so that he could learn what it means to share with others and make a difference in the community. These small ways are a great place to start!

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Families can give back in so many ways during the holidays! It's the one time of the year where I can easily teach our twins to think about others and that is the true lesson of the holiday season. Of course, the traditional route is to donate and we do that: we donate new toys to needy children via our local community. In addition, we donate canned goods to local food shelters. In my opinion, perhaps one of the very best ways to give back during the holidays is to give someone (a friend, neighbor, even a stranger) a helping hand -- carry a bag of groceries for someone struggling, spend time with a lonely pal, drop off cookies to an ill neighbor, pitch in before someone asks for help. Doing something for someone is free and is one of the greatest gifts you can give during the holidays. I hope this is the holiday lesson my twins will take with them as they grow up and wonder how they can give back during the holidays.

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This will be the third year that we have dropped off Build-a-Bears to the children in the cancer unit at our local children's hospital. There are 24 beds so we make sure to have at least that many. The children LOVE the bears. We also have always taken baskets of fruit to the elderly in our neighborhood. The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. If we can teach this to our children by example then we have accomplished something great, for giving truly is the greatest gift of all.

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In my family we are always looking for ways to serve. We contribute to Toys for Tots, the Salvation Army, and other charities. But our favorite way is that every year we choose a family in our neighborhood and give them gifts for the 12 days of Christmas. The kids love it! They take not getting caught VERY seriously. It truly teaches them to love thy neighbor.
Sandy - Momof12

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I've noticed an increasing number of panhandlers on my city's streets and have been accosted several times recently for money. I've never liked to give them anything. The few times I have, the beggar would ask for more or disparage my token offering. (Raising twins, one of whom is disabled, on a single income doesn't leave much left over for charity.) I've also heard numerous stories of unscrupulous beggars who spend the money frivolously or who are not actually in such dire straits.
All that said, I can't deny that there is a great need in this country, made even greater by the poor economy and government's austerity measures. So, I decided that for the month of November I am donating $1.88 (the cost of a Thanksgiving meal) to our local rescue mission for every beggar I see. It makes me feel like I can help them in a positive and constructive way, without simply ignoring their pleas as I wait for the light to turn green.
I'm up to eight so far and I like the idea so well, I think I'll continue it throughout the year.

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