The start of the holiday season is just weeks away, and your feelings about the end of 2020 might be all over the place. This November and December are sure to be different than in years past, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them — and help others enjoy them, too. Social distancing guidelines and business closures might have you wondering what you can do to give back, and we’ve got seven ideas that can help.
1. Donate goods.Whether it’s food, supplies, clothes, toys, or books, making donations is a great way for your family to contribute — and it’s easy. Find local bins or centers and drop off non-perishable food items and things like cloth masks, gloves, and disinfecting wipes and spray. Explain to children what donating means, and encourage them to go through their clothes, toys, and books and choose a few of each that they don’t use or wear anymore to donate to people who need them.
2. Organize your own drive.Work with your children to decide on an organization you want to support, and encourage them to spread the word to their friends. Have them make signs to hang around your neighborhood, directing others to a contactless donation bin at your house. With goods collected, your family can drop everything off at a donation center together.
3. Add something extra to your cart.Placing an order through an online bookstore? Purchase a few children’s books and have them sent to your local library. Is it time for your monthly bulk grocery shopping trip? Ask your store if you can have them ship items directly to the local food pantry. And if you’re buying supplies for the second half of your child’s school year, call local school districts to see how you can help children who might not have access to the resources they need.
4. Consider pitching in.Many organizations — such as food banks — have adapted to contactless services. Search for family opportunities and see what might satisfy both your desire to involve your kids in giving back, and your comfort for social distance.
5. Check in on your neighbors.We all know families are separated right now. An old-fashioned note-in-the-mailbox with a phone number is a great way to let an elderly resident or a new neighbor know they’ve got friends nearby.
6. Make greeting cards.This is something your child might have done at school in previous years — but this year, it might be more important than ever. For people who live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, or are in the hospital over the holidays, this season will feel especially lonely, and a cheerful note can help brighten their day.
7. Don’t forget about animals.
Call your local animal shelter to ask what supplies they need most before you donate. And if you’re looking into fostering a dog or cat — a popular pandemic past time — ask for more information on the process before you stop by.
Teaching your kids to give back is important, and it can be an instant mood-booster for all involved — something we all need this year!