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Hello, PLease know that if you do not have much to give this season remember that letting others care for you is a gift to them! “The only gift I have to
― Jarod Kintz
#1) Give Best Holiday Lights Award to Deserving Neighbors with Your Family
I can’t wait to do this with our girls. Just print these sweet awards from Erin Misenar, grab some treats, get in the car, and turn on your favorite holiday tunes. Go look for a house with especially lovely décor. Hop out and set the treats out for your neighbors to enjoy. So fun!
#2) Pack a Shoebox w/Gifts for a Child in Need
Operation Christmas Child project of Samaritan’s Purse gifts
#3) Write a Holiday Card to Service Members
Write a card to Operation Gratitude thanking a first responder. All Care Pouch shipments include a bundle of letters from the American people, thanking them for their service to our country. First Responders tell Operation Gratitude those letters, notes, and drawings are the most cherished items that they receive! From the website: “Good evening! Words cannot begin to describe the emotions felt when I opened my wonderful caregiver box. This was the most thoughtful care package. There was a little bit of everything inside. I had tears of joy. Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart. I truly appreciate everything you guys do. I absolutely love my care package. Thank you! Love, S.R.”
#4) Make a Blanket and Donate it to a Child in Need
Make a blanket and donate it to your local Project Linus chapter. They will take your blanket to a facility where it will be given to a deserving child. Project Linus’ mission is to provide love, a sense of security, warmth, and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “
#5) Make a Care Kit for a Homeless Person on the Street
Gather some things that would be useful (bottled water, socks, band-aids, fast food gift certificates, a granola bar, and a note of encouragement) and put them in a zip-
#6) Give the Gift of Education to Benefit Children Around the Globe
Go to the UNICEF website, find a gift (a basketball, a jump rope, mosquito netting, immunizations, milk, vitamins, jackets, math books), dedicate it, UNICEF delivers the gift notification to your friend. I gave my friend at work who is super into soccer a card that told her I gifted some children a soccer ball in her honor. I gifted a new mother a card that told her I’d gotten some babies immunized in Africa in honor of her new baby. I gifted my daughter’s teacher a donation in her honor. UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to save children lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence. UNICEF has helped reduce child mortality all over the world by working to reach the most vulnerable children, everywhere.
#7) Write a Holiday Card to a Kid in the Hospital
Making holiday cards for Cards For Hospitalized Kids is a simple, yet meaningful, way to make a difference in the lives of hospitalized kids. Using their card-making guidelines, you and your family can make cards and then send them to CFHK for distribution in hospitals. CFHK distributes cards to Children’s Hospitals across the United States in all 50 states as well as Ronald McDonald Houses. While a card may seem simple, it truly can make an impact on hospitalized kids and their families. Whether your card goes to teenage heart transplant patient or a child receiving treatments to battle cancer each card is truly impactful.
#8) Thank Your Delivery People With Snacks
Thank your mail carrier, UPS, FedEx, or
#9) Donate by December 31 and Bring Hope to Refugee Children and Make Your Donations Go Further
Many non-profits are pumping up their matches for donations at the end of the year. World Vision has a 7x match now. Donate to World Vision to benefit refugees. Imagine spending your entire childhood in a refugee camp; never attending school, never having a permanent home, often in danger of exploitation. Today, 65 million people, more than half of them children, have been forced from their homes by violent conflict, famine, war, natural disasters, and more. Healthcare, nutritious food, shelter, emergency supplies, baby survival packs, tampons, safe places for kids to play and learn.
#10) Give Blood
We have seen people line up to donate after many mass shootings when blood is desperately needed. Don’t wait. You never know when a car accident victim, or a child battling cancer, or a neighbor will be in need of that blood. Remember. . . One donation can save up to three lives!
#11) Purchase Holiday Cards that Benefit an Organization that Shares Your Values
I can write a whole article on non-profits that sell holiday cards to raise money for their causes. Have you considered shopping your favorite museum, food bank, or children’s hospitals’ holiday cards?
#12) Shop Fair Trade
Whatever is on your shopping list you can go to DoneGood.com and receive a recommendation for the fair trade options. Yoga pants, cell phone stands, and even jeans are on their site.
#13) Ask Your Children if They Would Like to Donate their Gently Used Toys to Santa to Give to Other Children
If your kids have a lot of toys they do not play with or want encourage them to gather them up and put them under the tree of Christmas Eve for “Santa” to take back to the elves to repurpose. Or take them with you to donate them. Cafe Mom has a good resource page for convenient drop off locations for you and your darling’s items. 🙂
#14) Donate Your Gifts/Your Time
The Morph Project in SLO was started by two amazing young women in San Luis Obispo to help up local women who are facing a personal crisis by giving them makeovers, outfits, and their love to build them up in their time of need. Whether the clients have struggled with homelessness, addiction, having their children in the hospital, or domestic violence in their lives the ladies at the Morph Project will give them manicures, haircuts, new clothes, photo sessions, lots of supportive and kind words, a kind listening ear, and hugs. Are you a photographer, clothing store owner, hairstylist? How could you use your gifts to help others? It’s probably very obvious if you think about it!
#15) Shop Amazon Smile
If you shop Amazon Smile a part of the money you spend on Amazon goes to an organization of your choosing. I have set my smile
#16) Sponsor a family With an Incarcerated Parent from an Angel Tree
One in 28 kids (2.7 million) has a parent who is incarcerated. With Angel Tree, you can help these children feel loved. Each summer, these children prison chaplains receive Angel Tree Christmas applications for their facilities account and incarcerated moms and dads sign up their children for the program. Then, local church volunteers provide these children with the Gospel message and Christmas gifts—as well as a special note from their mom or dad, reminding them of their love
#16) Volunteer With Your Children Sorting and Packing Donations at Cradles to Crayons
My friend Holly at Phase2Parenting brought my attention to Cradles to Crayons who has the use for volunteers ages five and up to sort and package donations! The homless shelter next to my office only allows kids over 18 to serve. If you are near one of their sites you could take your grade school aged kids to serve. I think that that is a really neat opportunity for them to see the needs of those around them. Pulling out toys from their toyboxes is a good start and this is the next step in the giving process. When they are ready, bring them along
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
― Mother Teresa