Published November 1, 2017
Teaching Kids to Give Back During the Holidays
The holidays can be a magical time, especially for children. With so much focus on food and presents and holiday-themed entertainment, who’s to blame them for getting carried away in the more commercial aspects of the season? We’re all about that childlike wonder—the eyes that get big while taking in all the twinkly lights, the encounters with Santa at the mall, the snowmen and snowball fights and hot cocoa….
This time of year also presents a good opportunity to teach your kids about those who may not have cozy homes and happy families to go to during the holidays—that giving back to your community can create a sort of holiday magic all its own. Below are a few of our favorite ways to get the whole family involved in the giving spirit. What are yours?
Holidays for Heroes
It’s gotta be rough spending the holidays away from your family. To ease the loneliness of this season and to thank the brave men and women in uniform, the Red Cross Holidays for Heroes program allows children to write to veterans, active service members, and their families. This is a great opportunity for the whole family to get involved and to really “Give Something That Means Something.” For more details and info on how to participate, click here.
The Ronald McDonald House
The Ronald McDonald house is a “home-away-from-home” for families of children receiving medical care at Riley Hospital for Children and other local hospitals. For the holiday season and beyond, you and your family can volunteer to serve meals to the families at the House—families who have, most likely, spent a long, emotionally exhausting day at the hospital. Wouldn’t it be nice to make some friends and bring a little light into their stay? Click here to find out more!
Gleaners Food Bank
Local food banks are always looking for volunteers—especially during the winter months. Gleaners distributes over 2 million pounds of food to Hoosiers every month, and you and your kids can be apart of that! If you are interested in volunteering, click here.
Donate to Your Child’s Charity of Choice
Do you give your child an allowance? For the next couple months, talk to your kids about saving up that money to donate to a charity of their choosing. Go online with them to research different organizations that might be related to their interests. Do they love animals? Look into donating to the Humane Society or the ASPCA. Do they have a passion for sports? The Global Sports Foundation or Ball to All could help your little athlete spread some holiday cheer.
Random Acts of Kindness
Giving back doesn’t necessarily need to involve money, or even much time. The holidays can be stressful for many people, and sometimes all it takes to change someone’s day is a kind word or a genuine smile. Especially coming from a child, such simple acts can pack some serious feel-good power. Click here for ideas on spreading kindness in small ways, every day.