involve children in giving during the holidays

Perhaps one of our most important responsibilities as parents is to raise our children to care and share. The holiday season is an opportune time to instil the spirit of giving in our children through fun and meaningful traditions.

No matter our age, skills or income, we all have gifts to share. Here are a few family-friendly ideas for sharing your time, talent and treasures with others this season. Have other ideas? Please share below.

  • Operation Christmas Child ~ bring joy and hope to child in need by filling a shoe box with toys, hygiene items, school supplies and hard candy. Collection Week is Nov. 21-27, 2011.  
  • Be a Santa to a Senior ~ Visit Home Instead, located in Market Mall, to pick up an ornament with wishes from local seniors who may be isolated or lonely during the holidays.  And/or, volunteer to deliver the gifts Dec. 15 to 21 by calling 931-4663.
  • Shaw Toy Tree ~ Place a new, unwrapped toy for a child under the tree in the middle of Boomtown at the Western Development Museum through Dec. 15, 2011.
  • Secret Santa at Market Mall, The Centre Mall, The Mall at Lawson Heights, and Confederation Mall until Dec. 19, 2011.
  • Ralco Toy Soldier Tree, Midtown Plaza ~ Buy an unwrapped toy for a local child in need through the Salvation Army until Dec. 23, 2011.
  • Angel Tree ~ Purchase a toy for a child at Wal-Mart at Preston Crossing.
  • Adopt-a-Family Program ~ Adopt a family for Christmas at your local Wal-Mart through the Salvation Army.
  • Contact the Salvation Army directly to adopt a family struggling to make ends meet.  Or, donate food, winter clothes, toys or cash to the Christmas Hamper Program. Christmas hampers include a complete Christmas dinner, extra foods that would last a week and gifts for children. Your family may even choose to deliver the hampers directly to another family who has qualified for the Christmas Hamper program. Call 242-6833 and ask for the "Christmas line."
  • Provide food, money or time to the Friendship Inn Christmas Day dinner.
  • Make a food or financial donation to the Saskatoon Food Bank.
  • Go through your closets as a family and drop off useable clothing for the Salvation Army Clothes Cave.
  • Find a Saskatoon Salvation Army Christmas Kettle around the city, or its online iKettle, and involve children in donating coins from their piggy banks.
  • Volunteer your time as a family. Visit VolunteerSaskatoon.com to find a match in our community's online database of volunteer opportunities.
  • Volunteer time through the Salvation Army Community Centre's Volunteer Program.
  • Get a group of friends or classmates together to organize a handmade Christmas ornament and bake sale to raise money for a charity that helps sick children like the Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan or Children's Wish Foundation Saskatchewan Chapter.
  • Involve kids in making holiday gift-wrap to wrap your family's gifts in.
  • Have children give useful handmade gifts, like this Play Dough in a Jar, instead of purchasing gifts for friends and family.
  • Deliver artwork to neighbours or nursing home residents.
  • Gather friends and plan a caroling night in the neighbourhood or a retirement village.
  • Important financial literacy lessons can begin early. Encourage children to earmark their piggy bank money for saving, sharing and spending.  
  • Lead by example. Involve your children in the family's philanthropy planning.
There are so many other opportunities to teach our children about caring and sharing during the holidays and beyond!  Share your ideas below.




Post a Comment