How do you teach your kids about the importance of giving? I believe that the best way is always by example. I also like to teach that we don’t need to boast about what we do to help others. We do it even if no one is watching and even if no one knows of our services. We give to help others, not for the attention and praise that we get for giving.
There are families in most communities who need help. Some will ask, others may not. Ask around or pay attention to people around you. Find somewhere to volunteer. Or do a service project for someone in your neighborhood.
If you want to volunteer with a large project, it is difficult to take children with you. Make sure you check into policies and consider whether or not it is really age appropriate. If your children are too young to take with you to volunteer at an agency, you can do your own volunteer projects at home.
Once my youngest turned 12, we started volunteering at the Humane Society. Volunteer projects like this aren’t only a great way to help, but they also help members of your own family connect.
Ways to give:
- Take a meal to a family in need.
- Buy gifts for someone on a local “Angel Tree”.
- Drop off cookies, flowers or something fun to a neighbor.
- Shovel snow, pick weeds, water flowers for a neighbor.
- Offer to babysit for free for a single parent who really needs a night out or just needs some time to run some errands.
- If you know of specific difficulties of a friend or family member, find ways to ease their burden.
- Write a letter to someone in your life, thanking them for anything they have done for you in the past.
- Offer to watch someone’s pet when they’re out of town.
- Give gift cards: cards for restaurants, grocery stores or gas stations can be especially useful.
- Any basic items are usually welcome. These add up and are things that any family can use.
- Give tickets to events that they may be interested in.
- Help a neighbor with something they’ve mentioned they need to do.
- Celebrate a friend or family member’s successes and accomplishments.
- Help someone with small chores around their home.
- Send a care package to a missionary or friend who has moved away.
- Find a local single parent who probably doesn’t get thanked often and show them your appreciation.
- Volunteer individually or as a family.
- Give a care package (ideas listed below)
What to give
Care packages make the perfect gifts and may include items for:
diapers, wipes, blanket, bottles, toys, teething toys, baby food or snacks that are age appropriate, bath supplies (baby shampoo, nail clippers, lotions). You can even fill up a baby bathtub with the gifts.
socks, shoes, clothes, jacket, coat, age appropriate toys.
clothes, socks,shoes, Legos, Science kits, items related to hobbies or sports they play.
headphones, electronics, gift cards, hygiene kit, shaving supplies. Gift cards from Itunes, Starbucks, American Eagle.
nail polish, jewelry, makeup, gift cards, electronics, hair supplies. Gift cards from Itunes, Aeropostale, Starbucks.
Basic kitchen supplies or a fruit/vegetable basket. Fill a box or basket with all of the items needed to make a specific meal and include the recipe.
Single Mom Care basket: (More gift ideas here)
Gift cards, makeup, hair products, jewelry, lotion. Gift cards from places like Bath & Bodyworks, Kohl’s or other department stores, a salon for a haircut or massage.
Single Dad Care basket:
Gift cards, shaving set, items related to hobbies, tools, snacks. Gift cards from Home Depot, Lowes, somewhere for a haircut or massage.
Family hygiene kit:
Toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, mouth wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, deodorant, combs, brushes, nail clippers, files, Qtips, cotton balls, contact solution, chapstick, body wash, skin care.
Laundry soap, dryer sheets, stain remover, bleach. Place everything inside of a small laundry basket.
Various house cleaning products, bucket, mop, broom, brushes, towels. Place everything in a laundry basket, mop bucket, or some type of holder for the cleaners. Gift card to The Container Store.
Gift cards to a movie theater or to somewhere like VidAngel, Redbox or Netflix, popcorn, drinks, candy, snacks. Place everything in a large popcorn bowl.
Backpack, blank and lined paper, pencils, pens, markers, highlighters, erasers, etc. Include a gift card to somewhere like Target or Walmart for other supplies.
Fanatics gift card, basically any favorite teams merchandise: bag, shirt, hat, mug, etc. Team ornament or other collectibles, stadium seats or a blanket to sit on while watching games.
Think about the blessings you have in your life and do what you can for others. Most of us go through times in our life where we need help. Be thankful that you’re able to cover your own basic needs and help someone else. Remember, there are many people in your own neighborhood or community who need help and may be struggling more than you realize.
If you need help, you may want to check out these posts: