Something I think is so important to teach our children about is kindness. I believe this is extra important around the holidays because so many people are in extra need of that kindness and support. We are fortunate with the life that we have but I want to teach my kids about those less fortunate so they can learn to always help others and spread kindness. This is something I believe my parents installed in me as a young girl and I have carried it with me always. This year I have set up a “Christmas Kindness Bucket List” for our family or you could also call it a “Holiday Kindness Bucket List”. I thought I would share our ideas with you guys in case you wanted to spread extra cheer this holiday season too or wanted some ideas on how to involve the kiddos with some volunteering. We would love to hear any of your ideas too!
- Donate gently-used clothes and toys to children in need at shelters – You can donate to your local homeless or crisis shelter. You can use this directory to find one in your area.
- Donate to the homeless on street corners – I heard about this idea awhile back and thought it was really sweet: Stuff new & cozy socks with water bottles, granola bars, & an optional little holiday tag to give to homeless men and women as you pass them on street corners.
- Go grocery shopping as a family to donate to food banks – I think the kids would have fun picking out things they think other kids might enjoy best. Be sure to check with your local food bank for items that they request and allow. Visit this link to find your local food bank.
- Make holiday cards for those in elderly homes – So many people in elderly homes have little to no family and something as small as sweet handmade holiday cards would probably really make their day! Plus- another really fun one for the kids. Find a local location here.
- Donate to a Fundraiser for a child with cancer – It’s especially hard for younger children to fully grasp the concepts like cancer and donating money but I try to explain it as best and gently as I can to my four-year old. She understands some and “is collecting all of her coins in her piggy bank to buy toys for the sick kids who can’t leave the hospital to visit the snow or for Christmas this year”.
- Adopt a soldier – You can contribute to our soldiers in many ways through the Adopt A Soldier website or, a Red Cross-sponsored event called Holiday Mail for Heroes will deliver holiday cards for soldiers as long as they are postmarked before Dec. 10, 2010.
- Donate to your local animal shelter – You can collect and donate gently-used towels and dog toys to your local animal shelter. You can also call and find out in what other ways you might be able to help.
- Sponsor a Family for Christmas – This is one of the sweetest things you can do for a family during Christmas time. I love this. We adopted a few families through our church before we even had kids and it is the best feeling ever. I am excited to have the kids involved with this this year. You can find this information at the Salvation Army or at your church as well.
- “Adopt” an Endangered Animal – My kids are crazy about animals and most kids are so what a special way to teach them about being responsible, kind and accountable for the future of the world’s Endangered animals. Plus its fun for the kids and they get cute souvenirs like an adoption certificate, species card, photo and plush animal.
- Make Water & Snack baskets for delivery drivers- If you’re like me and you order 95% of all your Christmas gifts from Amazon nowadays then you know these guys are busy busy during November and December! This is just a really nice pick-me-up for them and a fun way for the kids to get involved with spreading kindness.
This holiday season, my goal as a mom is to spend a lot more time focusing on what really matters- being thankful for who and what I have and helping those in need- while also teaching my children that that’s what the holidays are really all about! Happy Holidays loves!
Follow our Holiday Kindness Bucket List Journey on my Instagram
To find a ton more ideas on how to volunteer and help those in need visit these awesome websites: