The holidays are a time to give.
Now is the season to offer our gifts of love, thanks, and kindness to our families and communities. But if done with true purpose and a genuine heart, may it only be the beginning of a willingness to make a difference in the worlds we live in — not just this season, but every single day. Habitually.
Giving Tuesday is always held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States, and it’s a movement to create an international day of giving at the beginning of the holiday season.
Volunteering our time and services is a wonderful way to teach our children how to care for and help others. This is a time to sit down with them and find ways that you as a family can get involved with local charities. These conversations and consequential acts of kindness instill in them a desire to serve and an awareness of how significant need is around us.
And children love to help! They love to feel valued and important, and they are very empathetic people. Nurture this side of them as much as you can.
Start with these simple acts of giving to fulfill your family’s role on Giving Tuesday and beyond.
- Donate old coats, hats, and mittens to a local shelter. Bring books and old toys, too.
- Serve a meal at your local food pantry or offer to deliver Meals on Wheels.
- Bake cookies as a way of thanks to teachers, your postman or garbage man, police officers or firemen.
- Donate books to a book drive or local library.
- Visit a nursing home to sing carols or play games.
- Help a neighbor shovel their driveway or sidewalk, or decorate for the holidays.
- Adopt an Angel Tree.
- Bring old towels or blankets to animal shelters, and give the animals some love while there!
- Clean up a local park or school playground.
- Write thank-you notes to teachers or daycare providers who care for your children.
- Write get well cards, and bring them to a local children’s hospital with coloring books and crayons.
- Donate candy to those serving overseas.
- Contact your local VA hospital to sponsor a companion dog for veterans with PTSD.
- Do chores for your siblings, or help your friends with their chores.
- Tape quarters to a vending machine at a local hospital or school.
- Random acts of kindness! Say “Happy Holidays” to strangers, hold doors open at stores and give compliments to others.
- Ring bells for the Salvation Army or deliver cups of hot chocolate to bell ringers.
- Write notes of encouragement to fellow parents.
- Go caroling around your neighborhood.
- Visit GivingTuesday.org to learn more about national organizations, platforms and schools to which you can offer aid and awareness.
Most importantly, be sure your child knows that these acts of giving are encouraging so many others to do the same! The more love we show, the more peace among us. Happy Holidays to you!
About the Author
Angela Tewalt is a writer and mother to two boys. She shares parenting stories and inspiration in Guidepost Parent.
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