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What can we do as a family to help our community?

This year i really want to make an effort to teach my children about community and how to give to others etc etc. Of course, i try to teach them these things all the time but the cold winter months are when most seem to be the most needy. I'm looking for ideas on how to involve my young children in my efforts. (4 & 5)

This is kind of what i have in mind already:
We will spend some time at the homeless shelter. I'm not sure EXACTLY what we'll be doing. But we will be there to help.
I would like to something for the senior citizens in nursing homes. Again, i'm not sure what. But i really want it to mean something to them. Or even just ONE or TWO of them.
Also, i will be taking my children to a local book store. We will each pick out a book and then donate it to our local library.

What other things can we do? or can you add something to the ideas i already have? Thanks


Asked by outstandingLove at 5:17 PM on Nov. 19, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

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This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • These are great ideas! A few others: pick up dog/cat food to take to an animal shelter, donate some of their toys they don't play with to a shelter or charity, help out in a soup kitchen... If you have some elderly neighbors, how about the kids help with some simple housekeeping chores?

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 5:28 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • Nursing homes and the patients love gift bags or baskets....some of them dont get anything for the holidays.

    Put lotion, tissues, a bracelet, etc.

    I always let my kids pick out a toy or two and put it in the Toys for Tots boxes. I talk to them about where they are going and how proud I am of them for thinking about others. And also about how lucky they are.

    We also give canned food to soup kitchens. I talk about how some people dont have lots of food in their cabinets like we do and they get hungry.

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 5:37 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • My husband was recently diagnosed with cancer, and at the cancer institutes in our area they ask for donations to give to their patients. Even things like cards, pictures drawn, and stuff like that mean a lot to these patients - many of which will probably not see another Christmas. You may also try contacting your local hospice. They always need help doing things. If you mention you have small children I am sure they can come up with things for all of you to participate

    Answer by soccerchik8287 at 5:53 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • We don't have elderly neighbors. ...we already donate all their old toys. We have to or there isn't any room for anything after their birthdays and Christmas.

    Animal shelter idea sounds good. :) and the soup kitchen thing. That's what i was thinking we'd probably do at the homeless shelter.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 5:38 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • Gift packages for the seniors doesn't sound too bad. I was hoping i could give something a little different. Maybe i'll call one and ask what they would like. :)

    We've already done Toys for Tots this year (not that we can't do it again) :)

    Answer by outstandingLove at 5:45 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • Toys for Tots is a great organization that you could take your kids shopping and buy small toys to donate to that cause so that other kids have toys for Christmas. and it teaches your kids that not all families can afford things for their kids. Animal shelters are a great way for kids to learn to care about animals and are always needing donations of food, blankets, money etc. Call your local one to see what they need. I believe Good Will or Salvation army has a list of families that need food for the holidays. Some places here have a drive going where you can donate "gently used" coats, gloves, hats etc that people would go without otherwise. You might see if your area has something like that. And we also have the "Giving Tree" in the mall where you can pick a name off the tree that says what they child needs. Teenagers especially need gifts from these. I think it's really great that you are teaching your kids to give.

    Answer by SophiaofLight at 5:49 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • These are all great ideas and I hope you will continue to do them after the holidays. I would suggest one other thing. Find people that are in need near to you. So often we think "the poor" are people out there but they are amonst us.

    Answer by teamquinn at 7:26 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • Stuff animals to your local Police and or Fire Dept for children in a scary situation to hang on too. VA hospital always needing shaving cream, razors etc for our Men and Women Vets. Also lap blankets.. Blankets to A Childrens hospital call and check out what is needed and can be used.

    Answer by myzero at 7:30 PM on Nov. 19, 2009