With the struggling economy and high unemployment, many families have fewer resources this year, and children who are sensitive to their parent’s situations are asking for less from Santa. According to the Associated Press, Santa is hearing requests for the necessities – a job for mom, money for heat, gloves or shoes.
Our local parenting magazine Carolina Parent highlights this article in their recent piece and offers suggestions on how families can turn this difficult time into a positive learning experience by emphasizing the value of giving over receiving.
There a multiple opportunities for children to help others in the community by delivering meals through Meals on Wheels, serving or providing food to local shelters like the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service, or contributing through programs like Share your Christmas with the Volunteer Center of Durham. Call one of our Partner Agencies to find out how you could help families served by their organization over the holidays and throughout the year.
Need some help convincing your kiddos? Who better to help sell them on volunteering than Justin Bieber, who talks about the importance of volunteering in this video! Yes, I’ll admit my kids and I are fans.
Need to organize a project quickly?
Add a food or gift drive to your holiday party by asking guests to bring a canned good or hats/gloves/scarves and then take them to a local agency.
Host a holiday giving themed playgroup and assemble hygiene kits with items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, floss, nail clippers, lotion, deodorant, razors and shaving cream, soap and shampoo, washcloths or make baby care kits with diapers and wipes and deliver to a shelter.
I love any chance to organize a party especially for a good cause. After the eathquake struck Haiti in 2010, I hosted a playgroup where children learned about the country and put together personal care kits to be sent to Haiti through a local mission group. This turned out to be a fun and meaningful project! While making your kits for a local service provider you can talk to the children about poverty and homelessness using resources such as fact sheets provided by the National Coalition for the Homeless.
Make it a New Year’s resolution and bring in 2012 with a commitment to volunteering, and as you celebrate the season, remember those who have less and think about how you can share with others if you have more to give.
Carolina Parent also provides a calendar of free local events for families to help save money!
How are you and your family doing more with less and giving back this holiday season and in the New Year?
photo credit: North Charleston photo credit: iloveJB123