Volunteering: A Family Guide to Holiday Giving

The holiday season is a time for giving. But this important message can get lost in the bustle of the holiday and sidetrack your family’s focus. If you’re looking to show your children the real meaning of the season, you can carve out time to volunteer. The following suggestions will help teach your children a valuable lesson while strengthening the familial bonds.

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Map Out a Plan

Your children’s heads are probably filled with stocking stuffers and other gifts Santa may be delivering. But if you’re looking to make your holidays more meaningful and less about getting, you want to devise a plan. Sit the family down and discuss the importance of volunteering your time to those who are less fortunate. While offering your time can be heartwarming, you may also want to gift those in need with food and belongings. Ask for suggestions on which organizations the family would like to focus on. Don’t forget that in addition to children, the elderly and homeless, animals are in need of toys food and shelter too.

Join a Charitable Event

Once you’ve settled on an organization, you want to come up with ways to assist the group. You may want to start by meeting with the person in charge to determine the areas that need the most help such as a food and clothing drive. You can also look on the Internet or through the newspaper for upcoming charitable events such as the US Coachways & 106.7 Lite-FM Holiday Gift Wrapping Party. Families can get in the holiday spirit on Tuesday, December 19th to help wrap gifts for children at the Bristol Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. If you want to put your plan into motion, scheduling your US Coachways or holiday event is simple when you rent a mini bus. Leaving the driving in the hands of the professionals also allows your family to be able to focus on a night of fun and merriment.

Put on Your Aprons

If your family has some serious cooking skills, you can don your aprons and bake as a family. Decide on who you would like to gift your goodies to once they’re finished. Look around your neighborhood first to see if you have a lonely community member in need of some family attention. You can also donate your treats to the military troops or food pantries. A nursing home or homeless shelter may benefit from the time and love you’ve spent in the kitchen.

Share Your Time

There are so many ways to give back this holiday season such as the joining the US Coachways and 106.7 Holiday Gift Wrapping Party on December 19th. The holidays can be especially lonely and depressing for individuals who are confined to their home or a special care facility. If you’re looking to light up someone’s holiday this season, you may want to give the gift of time to those recipients. Speak with the facility of your choosing and ask the best time for them to receive visitors. To put a smile on their faces, take treats or gifts for the facility members to open such as baked goods, candy, soaps, lotions, books or magazines.

Adopt a Family

A local church or charitable organization may have a list of families who are going through difficult times. If the family is looking to spread holiday cheer, you could adopt a family. The sponsored family may have a small list of their most precious needs such as toys, mittens, underwear, socks and blankets. They may even appreciate food for a holiday meal.

Create a Giving Jar

Design a jar or plastic jug with stickers and place at the entryway to your front door. When you come into your home every day, put any loose change that you’ve accumulated into the container. When the jar is full, have a family meeting and decide where you would like the money donated. Pick the charities that you’re passionate about and whose goals seem to fit with your own. Don’t put the jar away at the end of the season. You can leave the container year round, and watch the money add up. If you’re diligent about saving your coins, you could help a number of organizations with your efforts.

Sing Carols

Some residents of nursing care facilities for the elderly may not have family or friends visiting them. If you’re looking for a way your family can make the season come alive, you could sing Carols. Gather family, friends and other community members together. Ask the manager of the facility if you could perform during the afternoon or after dinner. You can also ask the residents to share favorite holiday traditions or fond seasonal memories. While you’re there, form friendships that you can nurture and blossom all year long.

If you’re looking for ways to bond with your family and show them there is more to the holidays than receiving gifts, you may want to look for ways to volunteer. The above 7 options are fun and inspiring ways you can teach your kids the importance of giving back to their community.

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