Parent Magazine Flagler December 2019 - Page 21

1 2 3 4 Take a Ticket. Look for giving trees in stores that support local charities. Contribute a longed-for toy to a child who might not otherwise receive it or donate experiences like going to the zoo or to the theater. Feed Your Community. Connect school organization fundraisers to local charities by inviting attendees to bring a non-perishable food item or two to gain admission to events that would otherwise be free. Think Stocking Stuffer. Buy trinkets for family helpers like babysitters, yard workers, and dog walkers. A little bit of thoughtfulness goes a long way. Donate Warmth. Dig through your closets and find old coats or even new coats that seldom get worn. Offer them to a local coat drive or tax-exempt charitable resale shop. 5 Fill Those Pots. Keep change in your purse to give to donation bell-ringers and others asking for a holiday handout. This is an interactive way to teach children that it is a blessing to give as much as to receive. 6 De-clutter All Year. The less clutter you have, the more generous you have been. Gather donations after the kids go back to school, make another round of donations after the holidays, then declutter once more after school gets out for the summer. 7 8 9 10 11 12 Let Kids Sort Too. Ask your kids to go through their rooms a month before the holidays to make room for the new. Consider the best ways to donate based on what they have to offer. 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Use Sock Sense. Shelters often need donations of new socks. Watch for sales on socks all season, gather as many as you can, and contribute them to a regional shelter. 22 Connect Directly. Join an online community discussion group and watch for requests from local families for holiday assistance. Be sure to choose a safe place to meet up to make any exchanges of goods or food. 23 Volunteer as a Family. Contact local senior centers, soup kitchens or animal shelters and see if they offer families a way to participate together. Over There. Send holiday boxes to soldiers serving our country overseas. Put yourself in their shoes before you shop. What would surprise and delight you? 24 25 Double Your Donation. Participate in a matching gift program of some kind. Ask your employer what they offer. Roll up a Sleeve. Save a Life. Donate blood with teens who are eligible to participate. Make it an annual tradition. Spread Seeds. Make a feeder for winter birds and keep it full of birdseed you buy in bulk until spring arrives. Turn the Page. Go through your shelves and remove books you no longer love. Donate them to your local library or resale shop. Get Crafty. Come up with a fun, simple craft or recipe project so each child can make gifts for friends one weekend. Pinterest is always a good place to look. Sweets for the Sweet. Write thank you notes to teachers and instructors and include a gift card for something tasty. Shop Win-Win-Win. Buy some of your holiday gifts from a shop or organization that supports others. Sustainable gifts, shared profits, and sales that support the community in some way are all fair game. Be Thoughtful. Create a quick, annual list describing your year and mail it to faraway relatives with school photos for refrigerators. Toys For The Win. Watch for toy baskets at local businesses you frequent. Have your child pick out a toy they once enjoyed receiving to contribute. Or choose one yourself. Create Good Karma. Pay for a cup of coffee or cocoa for the next person at the local coffee shop or drive-up window and make someone’s day. Spread Cheer. All season long, encourage your children to slow down, smile at others as they go by, and wish them, “Happy Holidays,” once they make eye contact. Hide a Surprise. Put a cookie plate or box of chocolates in the mailbox for your delivery person. Put the flag up or post a sticky note on the box to let them know it’s in there. Consider Ongoing Giving. Together, come up with ways your family can give year-round. Charities are often flooded with donations around the holidays but could use more support during the rest of the year. Spring and early summer are common dry periods for food banks. Bundle Them Up. Go though your old hats, mittens, and gloves and donate them to a local family shelter. F L A G L E R parent M A G A Z I N E | 19