Each year, the Holiday Season comes and goes filled with excessiveness – in our eating, our spending, and yes, our giving. Almost to a point where the actual meaning of the season is diminished. This year I was determined to make sure our family gave back to the community, so that they would have a better appreciation for all the blessings that fill their lives.
In my research to find ways to give, I created a quick list for all of you. Even if you are not in the Austin area, these are great ideas that you can implement pretty much anywhere.
Here are 5 Ways to Volunteer as a Family this Christmas Season:
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
This national campaign has been collecting toys for less fortunate children since 1947. Operating under the motto, “Every Child deserves a little Christmas”, what a great message to send to your children to give to someone their age who is less fortunate than them. Make an event of it by taking your family shopping for toys. There are MANY drop off sites (click here to find one near you) all over the Austin area.
Salvation Army & KLBJ’s Cover This City
As the temps have been getting down, we all have the ability to keep warm at night. The homeless in the area are not as fortunate. New blanket donations are being accepted to help keep the city “covered” this winter at the Salvation Army Social Services Center in downtown Austin. A new blanket drive is planned to begin on December 26.
Neighborhood Food Drive
Work together to collect canned goods, toiletries, and diapers for a local food pantry. Contact the pantry you are collecting for in advance to find out what specific items they need. Tell your neighbors in advance that you will be collecting on a certain date, so they will be prepared. Don’t know where to find one in your area? The Capitol Area Food Bank of Texas is a great place to start.
Capitol Area Food Bank of Texas
And speaking of a food bank, why not work side by side with your kids collecting, sorting, or distributing donations? Many food banks allow children over a certain age as long as they are volunteering with an adult. The CAFB allows children over the age of 8 accompanied with an adult. Click here to learn more.
Thank Your First Responders
Show your appreciation for those that protect your local community. Cook a meal, bake a pie or Christmas goodies and take them down to the local firehouse or police station in person. Call ahead to find out when would be a good time and/or what kids of things they would appreciate most. Go in together as a family and let them know how much you appreciate them.
If you & your family have volunteering in other ways, we’d love to hear about them! Please leave us a comment.