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Charity Kids Can Do at Christmas

If we want our children to be charitable and kind to those less fortunate, then we must teach them by example. This holiday season, give your children a wonderful gift—the joy of giving to those in need. The following are some suggestions to get you started in such an important venture.

  • Check your coat closet: With your child, go to the coat closet and pull out all the old coats that nobody wears anymore. Take them to the local homeless shelter that serves families. Allow your child to go along and possibly meet another child who might need their coat. Your younger child may not completely understand what is happening, but they’ll surely feel the good feelings that come from giving.
  • Donate old toys: Go through old toys together with your children. Make sure you explain to your child what you plan to do and let them help pick out the toys to be given away. Choose clean toys that aren’t broken. If your child really doesn’t want to give a certain toy away—don’t try to force them and make an issue out of it. They will benefit from being consulted and will get into the spirit of it once they have a chance to get more involved.
  • Participate in food drives: So many of us take one or more children to the grocery store with us when we shop. One idea, to help them feel ownership of the project, might be to save a little bit each time you go shopping. Have your older kids help you figure out how much money you might save from using coupons, or getting an item on sale. You can even add the amount you saved by not buying a treat. Keep the money in a jar or envelope. When there is enough to buy a few things, take the children grocery shopping with the sole intent of picking up non-perishable food items for a shelter or food bank. Have your children join you to drop the food off at the food bank or food drive.
  • Sponsor a needy family: My greatest memories of Christmas as a child were ringing the doorbell of a home, running and hiding behind a snowbank or a parked car with my family. No, we weren’t playing a trick, we had placed presents, food and even a tree on the front porch of a family in need. We waited with anticipation to see the joy on the children’s faces. We were involved in the shopping and present wrapping, and even picking out a tree. Often, we gave up a toy we wanted in order to provide for this other child. What a powerful lesson to learn young. There are many ways to do this with your family. Most malls and community centers will have a “Giving” or “Wishing” tree. Sub-4-Santa is also an excellent organization that can coordinate your family with a family in need.

No matter what you choose to do to introduce these activities to your children, remember that it will mean more to them if they are really involved. Also remember, you are never too young to feel good by giving.

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