At this time of year, I’m always reminded of how lucky we are. We’re lucky to have loving family and friends to spend the holidays with. We’re lucky to have food on the table, a roof over our heads and warm clothes to wear. And we’re especially lucky to have beautifully wrapped presents under the tree on Christmas.
I say this because during the holiday season, there are so many food drives, donation bins, coat drives and more that remind us not everyone is as lucky as we are. It reminds us how many people right here in our own communities don’t have all these ‘luxuries’ that we’re so used to having. So naturally, it makes you want to help if you’re able. And it doesn’t have to be a lot. A little really DOES go a long way.
If you’re like me and want to be helpful and show your kids that Christmas truly is the season of giving, here are few wonderful ways you can help people in need in your community this holiday season.
Local Food Banks – Food banks collect food all year round, but at Christmas, there is a bigger need for donations. Mainly because most food banks do up Christmas hampers for families in need, and they don’t want anyone to go hungry at Christmas. So, check your pantry or go out and pick up a few items to donate. We usually donate through the Holiday Sharing program at school.
Coat Drives – Coats, toques, mittens, scarves – there are plenty of businesses that collect winter coats and accessories around this time of year. For instance, our school has a scarf and mitten tree in the front foyer and they’re asking everyone to bring in items to add to the tree. It’s a wonderful idea! (and it looks pretty cool too!)
Humane Society – If you’re an animal lover, don’t forget about all those furry friends spending the holidays without a forever home. Our guys LOVE animals, so this year I thought it would be nice to donate some dog and cat food to our local humane society. Donation bins can usually be found at your local pet stores.
Toy Drives – Our local fire department holds a toy drive every holiday season. Some children won’t have a toy to open on Christmas Day like our children will, so they’re collecting new, unwrapped toys at various donation bins throughout the city, usually toy stores. It’s a great way to put a smile on a child’s face this Christmas!
The Shoebox Project – I LOVE this one – and there are locations across the country! You put together a shoebox filled with items any woman would want and/or need. Maybe toiletries, gloves, chocolate or a gift card. Then, you wrap it up and it goes to women in need at your local women’s shelter. Look up The Shoebox Project for all the details or to find a shoebox drop-off location near you. It’s a really awesome project!
There are so many ways to help those in need in your own community this holiday season, and like I said, it doesn’t have to be a lot. A couple food donations here, or a few warm clothing items there really DO go a long way. Plus, it teaches our children the importance of giving back. It’s not all presents and turkey for everyone, and I want my kids to know from a young age how lucky they are and to appreciate everything they have. Not everyone is so lucky. I’m hoping by teaching them to give back, I’m teaching them to be caring, generous and helpful young men. So far…so good!‘Tis the season to be jolly…and giving! If you can, be both!