I am a firm believer in giving when I can. I believe that I have more than some and that when I am able, I should pay it forward because it the roles were reversed and I was in need; I would hope someone would help me.
I am also a firm believer in teaching ways kids can give back. I have taught my kids at an early age that they have more than some and that when they can, they should pay it forward.
As a family, we are always looking for ways kids can give back – especially since we have a 3 year old up to a 10 year old.
1. Send happy mail! Have your kids write a letter, make a card, draw a picture for someone. It can be a child who is ill and stuck in the hospital. It can be for a senior citizen. Maybe it’s for the guy you always see in the dirty clothes, sitting on the corner. I may not always have money to give, but if I can make one person smile with something my kids did; I have done my duty.
2. Visit a senior home. Find a local senior citizen home and ask if you can bring your kids to visit. It doesn’t cost you anything but the gas to get there and think of the days you will have made for some strangers.
3. Sponsor a family. This can be a Christmas thing or a year round thing. Check with a local church and see if there is a family in need. Purchase some of their needs and let the kids help out. Explain to them that there is a family that is having a hard time and needs their help.
4. Be a Christmas Angel. I know you have seen the tags on the trees. Let the kids pick a tag from the tree. Tell them what it is and let them pick out the things the kid asked for. Maybe go one step further and let your kid pick a toy for that kid too.
5. Make blankets for those in need. Again, children in the hospital; senior citizens in a home; the homeless. The kids can make these DIY no sew blankets easily and it is a great way for kids to give back.
6. Have your kids collect gently used blankets, jackets, and clothes to donate to the homeless.
7. Have your kids collect food for the food bank.
8. If your kids are old enough, you can take them and volunteer at a food bank or “soup kitchen”. I know we have a few here locally that I cannot wait until my kids are old enough to go (I think down here, the youngest is 12.)
9. Write a letter, color a picture, draw a picture, make a card for soldiers over seas.
10. Collect items and create care bags. I have seen these done where you take a gallon Ziploc bag and fill it with a snack, tissue, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, mouthwash, chapstick, soap, Q-tips, Band-Aids, hat, gloves, a bottle of water, a pair of socks, etc. Things that one could use when they are living on the street. (You can purchase a lot of this stuff in the travel section of a store for really cheap so you aren’t spending a ton to help someone out.)
11. Give back to the community by picking up litter.
12. Bake treats (or buy them) for your local police department, fire department, senior citizen home, etc.
13. Have the kids donate their toys. We cancelled Christmas one year. The kids could not comprehend the idea that they cannot ruin all of their belongings and not pick up after themselves. Instead, we had the kids pick out their two favorite toys each and then personally give them to an orphanage.
14. Subscribe to Little Loving Hands. Little Loving Hands is a subscription box company that sends your kids the materials needed to complete a craft, plus a return envelope to return the craft at which time it is given to a ’cause’.
We received the December box that was “The Holiday Box” in exchange for a review of Little Loving Hands.
The box came with the materials necessary for the kids to create a Search-and-Seek activity bag with game cards for the kids at The Children’s Inn at NIH.
The website shares what The Children’s Inn at NIH is, what it does; so I could tell the kids where their product was going and what it was doing.
All three kids dyed the beans in the kit together. K cut out the pieces for the cards and they all filled the bag together before K “sewed” it back up. It didn’t take a lot of time. It was easy enough for them to do it. It came with everything they needed. It was for a great cause.
I love that the box is delivered to our home and that all three kids – regardless of their age – were able to help out. The entire reason behind Little Loving Hands – “a way to have young children involved in giving back to the community.”
No matter if your kids are 3 or 10; there are ways for them to give back. I have taught them why we give back. I teach them who we are giving to and why we are giving to them. If I can’t teach the next generation about giving back to others and helping others; where will this world be?