With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season IKO Community Management wants to remind everyone that there are people in our community, country and world that are less fortunate than we are. This is the perfect time of year to introduce your children to a new tradition of giving. IKO Community Management wants to highlight some options that will help get your family started with holiday (and year round) giving:
In with the new, out with the gently used – We all look forward to giving and receiving gifts around the holiday season. This is especially true for children. Are you finding that you house is a little cluttered as time passes? Maybe it’s time to think about donating some of your child’s old, gently used toys or clothing items that they aren’t using anymore. Sorting through clothes and toys can be a great way to start cleaning house for the holiday season. Sit down with your children and sort through their drawers and closets. Set aside what they can still wear or play with from what should be donated. If something is in poor shape, consider a third pile for recycling/trash.
Cook up something good – Contact your local soup kitchen or pantry that requests casseroles or other cooked food items. Find a date that works for your family and chose a number of dishes for your family to whip up (again, make sure that these items are sanctioned by the organization you’re making them for). Some soup kitchens require you to prepare food at their organization, so don’t prepare anything at home unless it’s been stated that this is allowed. Wherever you’re preparing the food, let your kids help. Helping with the preparation lets them feel the satisfaction of helping someone else and shows them that hard work can pay off. Older kids can help serve food and speak with the individuals coming into the soup kitchen. It’s a great lesson on appreciating the gifts that we’re given and learning to appreciate that everyone has a story.
Buy 1, Give 1 – Toys for Tots is one of the best ways to give as a family. Most parents will have to take some of their kids holiday shopping at one point or another during the holiday season. Take that time and use it as a teaching opportunity. It’s frustrating for kids to walk through toy stores during the holiday season when they don’t understand the concept of waiting for the holiday to arrive (let alone money). If they have a toy on their list that’s affordable, purchase a second one to donate to Toys for Tots or a similar organization. Talk to your child, explaining that giving to others is a good thing and have them imagine the happiness this toy will bring to a child who otherwise wouldn’t have a present to open.
This may be a difficult concept to comprehend when you’re a child, but try to remind them when they finally open their gift that the happiness they’re feeling is shared by the child you’ve helped. Hopefully it will get them thinking!
There are many ways to teach your children the value of giving this holiday season. So many in our community could use a helping hand this winter. Our suggestions are by no means your only options. Check out our Community Volunteer Day post for even more ideas, then talk to people in your community to see where there’s a need. On a cautionary note, don’t assume that an organization needs something. They may have enough of a particular item or service and are in need of something else. It’s always a good practice to ask before giving.
From all of us at IKO Community Management we hope that you’ll have a great holiday season and are able to pass good will onto others.