‘Tis the season for giving! For us mamas, this time of year comes with gift lists for our children which we try to keep balanced with educational and useful items – not just the toys and games they ask for. It also means that we’re thinking about who and what we’ve supported this year and where we may want to give within our communities before the turn of the year. To help you, we’ve put together five ideas to give this holiday.
Financially donate to organizations in your community
If you’re able to financially give back to nonprofits in our community this year, we’ve been sharing organizations who support families on our blog and social over the past month. Check out our Giving Tuesday post for more about just some of the wonderful groups making a difference in the lives of mamas across the Lansing area this season.
Start a Reverse Advent Calendar Tradition
Even when you ask for college donations or clothes, most of our families still manage to sneak some toys under the tree this year. If you’d like to teach your children about giving back (and clear out a few gently used toys this year), you can institute a Reverse Advent Calendar in your house. Every day your child can pick out one toy that they don’t play with often that’s still in good condition to donate to a local charity. By the end of the month, you should have made a little room for new toys, and also helped to teach your little ones about the spirit of giving. Check out more of our tips for clearing out toys this year!
Buy Someone a Coffee or Meal
This year has been – and continues to be – a very tough time for our first responders. You can bring coffee or food to your local police station, fire station, or hospital. Sparrow and McLaren Lansing both offer detail about how to support our local heroes. Additionally, maybe you pass someone shoveling snow on your way into work each day. Buying them a cup of hot chocolate just might make their whole day.
Stock Your Neighborhood
On our Haslett Community Facebook page, we often have others sharing the status of our local food pantry. These are a great way to make sure our neighbors and friends don’t go hungry this season, have personal care items, or even something festive to read. You can check your community Facebook page for detail, or visit websites like Little Free Pantry and Little Free Library to find one near you. Many take non-perishable foods, personal care products like tampons, deodorant, and even dog treats for fur babies.
Give of your most precious resource – time
We’re moms, which means we have zero free time. But if you find yourself with some spare minutes in the day, consider volunteering with local organizations or for friends and loved ones in need. You could be as organized as volunteering at a local nonprofit to serve dinner, or go as simple as shoveling snow for your neighbor in need. One of my personal favorites is to drop off baked goods I took the time to make for neighbors without family in the area. You can also find more ways to give of your time on our blog here.
No matter how you give back, the simple of act of thinking about others is what this time of year is what makes this season so magical. If you do use any of these ideas or more, tag us on social to help other moms find ways to teach our little humans about how we can support families in our communities this holiday!