Tis the season for shop till you drop. We spend all this time and money rushing around to find the perfect gifts, spending more and more money on fancy, luxurious and expensive items. But sometimes the most cherished gifts don’t cost much at all. Instead of rushing out to buy yet another electronic device or toy, let’s try and purchase at least one gift that has true value behind it, and shows our children the real meaning of the holiday season, ‘to give.’ Even though they are all listed here, we will be bringing you 10 Days of Holiday Charity Ideas on our social media – giving you lots of ideas and options on ways to give back this season. Hopefully next year we can do the full 25!
Did you know there are many gifts that can be made in honor of our kids and help teach them about those not as fortunate as they are? Here are a few to get you started:
10 Holiday Charity Ideas:
1. Toys for Tots
Founded by the Marine Corp in 1995 it’s one of the most recognized programs for kids around the holidays! You can make a donation, request a toy for your own child, or even set up your own donation center! What a great way to give back and show the kids how they can be involved.
2. St. Jude Holiday Cards
We all send them, so this year why not spend money on cards that will go towards something worthwhile? St. Jude’s Kids get to dress up for photos shoots, or design beautiful cards that you can order to print or even send in emails.
Other holiday card ideas:
Paper Culture – plants a tree every time you place an order to replace the tree that was used to make your cards. And you can even name the tree in honor of someone! Maximo has a few out there already!
3. USO Holiday Boxes
You can help send festive decorations and treats to soldiers serving over seas that don’t have access to traditional holidays. Soldiers appreciate these boxes because they help brighten up their camps and bring a little piece of home to them. There are actually four different boxes you can contribute to throughout the year – so you can even send them 4th of July flags in the summer!
4. Ronald McDonald House
Ronald McDonald House also makes holiday cards you can purchase to help families whose kids are getting cancer treatments and can’t be home for holidays. They also offer a cookbook you can purchase, the chance to donate a ‘wish list item’ for a child, or you can even sponsor an entire families stay for a week for only $35.
5. Seussville – Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes
December 1st was the celebration of the newly minted National Grinch Day and kicks off “25 Days of Grinch-Mas”. Inspired by Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” it is a campaign to encourage kids to do one good deed each day and “grow your heart 3 sizes.” Complete and submit the form sharing 3 good deeds and your child will contribute a book through FirstBook.org.
6. Reach Out and Read
Such a fun way to give the gift of reading. So many children grow up illiterate, that Reach Out and Read helps doctors of disadvantages parents hand out free books to promote ‘bedtime story reading.’ It seems simple, but has had astounding effects, so much so that families come back to say reading has become the child’s favorite activity! $50 covers the cost of one child for five years!
A great way to get the kids involved without spending any money! Even though this is a nationwide event, there was also a citywide initiative that encouraged parents to BRING their children to donate their lightly used clothes and toys at drop off centers throughout the city. This We all have plenty of toys, and having our kids donate their own shows them the true meaning of giving! You can also do a monetary donation – this year they raised 162% more than last year, with an average donation being $120! That’s incredible!
8. USPS Letters to Santa
Did you know you can go to your local post office and pick up an actual letter written to “Santa?” The Postal workers sift through to find the letters from needy children, remove addresses, and leave them open for public adoption. You can return with the gift and letter BACK from Santa. How adorable is that??? You can learn more at your local post office, or visit the USPS website here.
9. Navy Seal Foundation –
This one is all year – not just for the holidays. You can help support the families of Navy Seals -whether it’s offering up support when a Seal falls through funeral costs and helping families travel, to helping the YMCA offer child care services. While many of us take for granted child care, spouses of Navy Seals don’t often know when their significant others will be sent away. And if there is an emergency, they can’t exactly run back home, so these offers provide a sense of community and support for the families while the Seals are away. What is a better way to give back than supporting those who risk their lives to be our heroes?
10. City Meals On Wheels – They also make holiday cards. You can get a 5 pack for $32, and each card covers the cost of one meal the elderly in the neighborhood. What a sweet idea, plus all of your card receivers will know of the thoughtful deed you have committed to – which helps spread the word. #payitforward
Do you know of others great opportunities out there? Let us know and we’ll share them as well! Let’s help each other by helping spread the word! Email us at [email protected] – we’ll not only add to the list, we’ll share on our social media as well as add to our growing list of charities for next year!