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Teaching Charity over the Holidays – What Every Family Can Do

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Making Charity a Habit throughout the Year

Charity is a term meaning to give voluntarily. Giving of self, giving of talent and skills, giving of relevant items. Charity is a gift that requires no repayment. Teaching a child about charity during Christmas helps them to understand what it’s all about and take it a step further by being charitable year-round. Here are a few ideas of working with charities throughout the year.

Pick an Established Charity

There are many charities that need donations of time, effort, and money during the holidays. Look at the Salvation Army, Children’s Hospitals, Red Cross, and ask your local churches. Feed the hungry, angel trees, coat drives, canned food drives, homeless shelters, food pantries, too many to name. Many of these will take monetary donations. A few may accept help as in serving those in need. Ask how you can get involved in doing canned food drives, coat drives, meals on wheels, or buying Christmas gifts for less fortunate children. Most of the charities need donations year-round.

Adopt a Grandparent

The nursing homes are full of our elderly people who can no longer care for themselves. Many live there year after year without having any personal visitors. Take time to go a nursing home and adopt a grandparent. Children can love on these people and being loved will make their day. If you adopt a grandparent, you will have a good reason to visit often throughout the year.

Start a Giving Jar

Set up a jar with a lid with enough room to insert cash and coins. Plan to put all spare change into the jar. When the jar is full, start a new jar. You can do this year-round. When Christmas rolls around, give the jars full of money as gifts to those less fortunate. Give the jars anonymously for true Christmas spirit.

Start a Food Drive

A food drive will bless those who are in desperate need of groceries. Work with your local retail stores, schools, churches, and clubs. This is a great way to support your local food pantry or to give

directly to families in need. Make a goal to host a food drive quarterly or even monthly to help those in need year-round.

Host a Free Yard “Sale”

Gather your friends and donate household items and clothing and host a “free” yard sale for those in need. This offers a great opportunity to share of your relevant goods with those in need. Or donate to the local shelters or thrift stores who offer to help those in need.

Serve a Community Meal

Plan a community meal and invite everyone to attend. This should be a group effort and you can involve others to help by donating food, preparing the food, and serving the food. Have it in a location close to people who may need a hot meal. Offer rides to those who do not have transportation.

Other Ways of Being Charitable

Find ways to be charitable more than just at Christmas. Get in touch with your local churches to see how you can volunteer with your family to serve your community in need. Service can include free babysitting services, food pantries, thrift stores, or being involved in groups who help people maintain their homes and cars. Some communities have organizations that feed the elderly or children during the summers. Ask your children to come up with ways of serving others.

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