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Putting the Giving into Thanksgiving

By Trevor Storrs, Executive Director, Alaska Children’s Trust

Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner and it is a great time to start engaging children in the act of giving back. Here are some easy ways to involve your children in the true spirit of the holidays:

  1. Donate Money. When individuals are ringing the Salvation Army’s bell or collecting funds to purchase turkeys for families in need, have your child take a dollar from their own money and donate it. It is more powerful when the child uses his or her own money versus yours. Or volunteer to work a kettle and your child can ring the bell and accept donations.
  1. Toys-for-Tots. One of the fun activities that many kids do to get ready for Christmas is write their letter to Santa letting him know what toys they want this year. Before the letter is mailed off, have your child select a gift from their list that they want to go to a child in need. Then go out with your child to select the toy and deliver it to a toy collection site.
  1. Adopt-a-Family. Many organizations have a list of families who cannot afford a holiday meal. Have your child help with developing the menu, shopping for the items, contributing some of the money, and delivering the package.
  1. Distribute Food. Many local churches and organizations host events where they distribute food to hungry families for the holidays. This is a great opportunity to contribute food and volunteer at the event.
  1. Be a Good Neighbor. The opportunities to do this are endless. Brainstorm some ideas with your child about how to show kindness to your neighbors (especially the elderly). Ideas include baking cookies as a family and delivering them to neighbors, or shoveling snow from a neighbor’s driveway.trevor-polo-shirt-small

Have some other ideas to share, or want to tell us about your family’s experience with holiday giving? Connect with us on Facebook!

Trevor Storrs is the executive director of Alaska Children’s Trust.

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