Every year we try to look for ways that we can give back or donate. I like to remind my kids that there are many people less fortunate than we are and that it is our duty to help out where we can.
Some of the ways that we do this are as follows:
We donate to Toys for Tots. My kids each get to pick out a gift and then we drop it off at our local fire house.
Our local grocery store has a service every Christmas where you can buy a grocery bag that is already stocked full of food and it is then passed out to those in need at the local shelter. I make a point to get atleast one and simply tack it to my grocery purchase.
We always donate blood when our company has a blood drive, my husband donates the double as often as he can.
I have recently started to keep my free cat food and cat treats to donate to the local SPCA instead of keeping them for our cats. Also, all of our dogs have come from rescues, or been dropped off to the vet.
Our local YMCA has a tree with little tags decorating it. Each tag has something that a child might need. For instance it might say " 8 year old, socks". I usually let all three of my older kids pick one tag each.
The girls' school takes donations to send to the military overseas. They need things like baby wipes and small stuffed animals to pass out. We send in whatever I can get to donate.
The girls' school also has a tree in the cafeteria where the kids bring in mittens, gloves and hats and put them on the tree as decorations. This year they also are asking for toothpaste and toothbrushes to put under the tree.
Our work also takes donation throughout the year for food and toiletries. We always bring in double, from both my husband and myself.
And of course we donate lots throughout the year to Goodwill.
I have graciously accepted hand me downs, especially for my 8 month old son. And of course I pass it along and give them to someone else who will graciously accept them as well.
We also try to donate when they are running certain fundraisers. For instance a family whose house burned down, or when they were taking donations for hurrican Katrina.
At work they seem to be always having some kind of bake sale or raffle to help out a local family who has been affected with cancer, or another illness. Again, I make sure to donate something.
This time of year, there are always kettles for the Salvation Army outside of stores. I always give each of my kids money even if I only have change on me to put in the kettle.
In addition to these things, I remember to use my manners, be polite and hold the door for people. The other day after I had loaded my groceries into the car and got the kids loaded, I was pulling out of the lot when I noticed an older lady who was having trouble loading her groceries. Of course I pulled the car over and offered to help with her groceries. She was so grateful. And after the girls said "wow, mommy, that was very nice of you to offer". And it was nice, but it didn't take a whole lot of time, it was something little that I could do but it meant a great deal to that lady.
Of course I want my kids to grow up and be smart, to find love and to do something they enjoy for a living. But in addition to that, I really want my kids to grow up to be good people. To be kind, to treat others as they would want to be treated and to think of themselves last.
I am so thankful that we are in a position to be able to give back.
This post is linked to Gratituesday and Finer Things Friday.
What ways do you donate? How do you try to give back.