It’s not too late…

…to give back this holiday season!

While we are hit on all sides to consumerism and commercials about the latest and greatest jewelry, video game, toy, etc., let’s not forget that giving back to friends, family, and communities in need should become part of our holiday celebrations. Giving or volunteering at a local charity can become a valuable tradition for families, and children can learn early how rewarding it is to give–for them as well!

Here are a couple of easy ideas to give back–if not this December, then save it in your back pocket for next year.

1. Operation Christmas Child — Fill up a shoe box full of necessities and gifts to ship overseas to children who look forward to this gift each year. There are often stands at churches and malls with shoe boxes ready to fill, and a designated drop-off area.

2. Soup kitchens– Find a local soup kitchen to either donate food, or your time to help make a meal. Often, soup kitchens have a special holiday meal on-site, or deliver food to families in need.

3. Angel tree–Your organization can set up a tree with ornaments that have various children’s names on it, and an idea of what they would like for Christmas. These children would not otherwise receive a gift. Angel tree is run by the Salvation Army.

4. Donate a coat– Donate one of your old gently used coats, or buy a new one and donate to a local shelter. Here in Westminster, MD, Shepherd’s Staff (410-857-5944) distributes winter coats to those in need.

5. Have your kids round up their old, gently used toys and donate them to Goodwill or Purple Heart (they will even come pick up) after the holidays.

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