Looking for a way to get your family involved in giving back this festive season? We offer seven ideas you and your child can help others over Christmas.
The festive season is upon us, and while many of us focus on shopping for gifts and making sure Christmas dinner is perfect, you might be wondering if there is anything you can do as a family to help others during this time of year. Here are seven ways you can give back this Christmas - or indeed at any other time of year.
Be it food, supplies, clothes, toys, or books, making donations is a great way for your family to contribute. It's easy enough to do, plus it provides a great opportunity to declutter. This is wonderful opportunity to encourage a spirit of charity and explain to your child what donating means. Let them to go through their clothes, toys and books and choose a few of each that they no longer use or wear anymore to donate to other children to enjoy.
Find local charity shops/centres or charity bins to drop off your donations. It might be worth contacting them ahead to check whether there are certain items they particularly need.
Talk with your child to decide on an organisation you would like to support and get in touch with their nursery or school to see whether you could work together in collecting donations for your chosen cause. If you’re short on time in December, it could be a holiday project with donations given in the new year.
If your child’s school/nursery are willing, arrange for a donation box to be placed in reception. Make a sign or poster to be put up and shared in their newsletters, giving ideas for types of donations and encouraging other families to join in. With goods collected, your family can drop everything off at a donation centre or charity shop together.
Placing an order online? Why not buy a few children's books or toys and donate them to the children's ward in your local hospital.
Whilst doing your weekly food shop, why not add an extra item or two and put them in the food bank baskets that are often located near supermarket exits.
Many organisations, such as food banks, are always in need of an extra pair of hands. Search for family opportunities and see what might satisfy your desire to involve your child in giving back – it could be that they get involved with simple tasks such as sorting items and boxing them.
If you have a local retirement home near you, why not gather a few festive treats such as mince pies or biscuits and pay them a visit? Some residents might not receive many visitors, so enjoying some time with you and your child could be just the thing they need to bring a bit of Christmas cheer and help them to feel less alone. There are also many benefits that come with intergenerational relationships, for both the elderly and children.
This is something you and your child can do together. Put some Christmas tunes on and get creative! For people who live in nursing or care homes, or are in hospital over Christmas, a cheerful card will help brighten their day. Consider making them for you neighbours too. Handmade cards and gifts show that you care and have taken time to make a special effort in wishing them well.
Aside from monetary donations, there are items you might have around the house, or could buy and donate, that would be really helpful to animal charities and shelters. Call your local animal shelter to ask what supplies they need before you donate, as shelters will vary in what they can and can't accept, as well as what they need.
It takes a lot to provide for all the animals in their care and they generally go through supplies quickly. They’re often in need of items such as food, leads, collars, toys, or cleaning supplies. Bedding and towels can be useful for them too, especially during the winter.
Teaching your child to think of others and to give back is important, and it can be an instant mood-booster for all involved.