There are many ways to give to others, even on a slim budget.
- Make it, Bake it – Donate items you make or bake to a local charity. Sew book covers for schoolchildren, bake quick breads for nursing homes, offer to help a food kitchen.
- Time is Money – Volunteer at events or school programs, offer to collect toys or organize fundraisers.
- Purchasing Power – Purchase products that give a percentage to charities – then purchases you make will go towards a good cause.
- Workplace Giving – Encourage your workplace to do a charitable contribution instead of a “Secret Santa” – I mean, who needs another coffee mug with a tacky saying on it, anyway, right?
- Shop at home – go through closets and drawers. Chances are you have new, unused items that could find a home elsewhere, package these up and donate them. Where? Well, here’s where I plan to donate items this year:
Operation Christmas Child – an outreach of Samaritan’s Purse, this charity donated 8 million shoe boxes of gifts to children last year. EIGHT MILLION!! This year I am packing a shoe box for one boy and one girl and sending it off to be given to a needy child. With this program, you can even track your box to its destination! I can’t wait to find out where my boxes go!
Shoe boxes can be filled with toys, educational supplies, hygiene items and more. You choose the gender and age (from 2-14) of your box. A small donation of $7 covers the cost of shipping the box, and you can drop your box off at one of over 2,000 local collection centers (great places to volunteer!) – I am lucky enough to have a collection center right in my town!
So pack a shoe box, or choose another way to give back this holiday season. I am excited to participate in Operation Christmas Child this year, and I anticipate this will be an annual event for us to share with our children as our family grows and teach them the joy of giving.
How do you teach your children to give to others? Do you have other suggestions for giving on a budget?