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Apryl Duncan

Teach Your Kids About Charitable Giving During the Holidays

By December 16, 2011

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The holidays are a wonderful time to introduce your children to the concept of helping others. Together, you and your kids can lend a hand to worthy organizations, give to the less fortunate or participate in events to raise money.

A picture of Toys for Tots donations
Helping others during the holidays is a great lesson for your kids.
Photo © Mike Miley / Flickr
Donate Items

Several organizations could use donations this holiday season. Donations can be monetary or physical goods, depending on the charity.

If you'd like your kids to buy a toy or two for other children, the most popular programs are Toys for Tots and Angel Tree.

Non-perishable food items are always in need this time of year. Check with your local food bank to see which items they need the most. Or look for events in your area that ask for a canned good item as the only admission price.

Also look for smaller, local programs in your city. TV and radio stations in your area often sponsor toy and/or food drives. Call the station to find out where your children can drop off items for others.

Contact local churches and other non-profits near you. You'll often find they are looking to help others and don't have the media exposure the bigger charities do.

Donate Your Time

Money and goods aren't the only items you can donate. Time is a great gift too and gives you an opportunity to teach your kids lessons in thankfulness.

Contact your local food bank to see if you and your family can help pack boxes of food. Donate your time closer to the holidays and deliver those boxes to the less fortunate. Contact local shelters to find out how your family can serve meals to the homeless Christmas morning.

Donate your time helping local charities raise money. You've heard The Salvation Army red kettle bell ringers as you walk into your favorite stores.

But did you know anyone can volunteer their time to ring the bell? This is a charitable activity your entire family can participate in. All you have to do is call your local Salvation Army to pick a date, time and location that works for you.

Participate in a Charity Walk/Run

The Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run/Walk is one of the most fun charity events to participate in during the holidays. The requirement is simple. Everyone must tie jingle bells to their shoes.

Form your own team with just your family members. Join another team. Just show up with your jingle bells on and try to resist getting into the holiday giving spirit when you hear all of those jingle bells during your 5 kilometer journey.

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