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Lessons on Giving

December 6, 2011

The holiday season is such a busy time for all.  Once the shopping has been done, the gifts are wrapped, and the cards have been mailed, take a moment and spend some quality time with your family by making the holiday season a little brighter for others.  Try some of these ideas and instill a lifetime love of service in your children:

  • Host a volunteering play-date over winter break. Instead of an outing to a park, host a community-focused activity such as making cards to deliver to nursing homes or sending care packages to soldiers.
  • Deliver a meal to a family in need; Helping Hands of Vegas Valley needs drivers to distribute food to seniors.
  • Start your own food, clothing, or toy drive. Collect items from your friends, family, co-workers, church groups, etc. and distribute to a charitable organization.
  • Invite an elderly neighbor to join your holiday celebration, or offer to sit and chat with them a while.
  • Gather a group and sing holiday carols to shut-ins or in shelters.
  • Choose a family to sponsor from the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program and bring the kids shopping to choose gifts for the family you will be helping. As you wrap the presents, talk about all the things your family is thankful for.
  • Purchase $5 or $10 gift cards from a grocery store or fast food restaurant and deliver them to the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth’s plastic food drive.
  • Decorate three jars: one for saving, one for spending, and one for giving. Ask your children to deposit their spare change equally among the jars over the next year. Ask them to choose an organization to donate their giving jar to.
  • Visit a charity that you have supported so that your children see where the money goes. Take a tour and bring the whole family.
  • Show how your efforts are making a difference. Create a scrapbook of your family’s volunteer and philanthropic experiences.
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