Small Ways to Make a Big Difference This Holiday Season

Yesterday was International Volunteer Day, a holiday created by the United Nations to tell the world “millions of volunteers are changing lives for the better every day and with better recognition and support much more can be done.”

There might not be a better time than in the midst of the season of giving, receiving, and spending to be reminded to look beyond yourself, your family, and friends and give to those who might go unnoticed.

The following list was inspired by the article “11 Ways to Give Back During the Holidays” by Samantha Cleaver. You can use these tips to get your whole family excited about giving and to inspire more creative giving ideas:

1. Donate: In the next few weeks, suggest children save their allowance for the charity of their choice. If kids are saving their earnings for donation, some parents will choose to double the amount at the end of the saving period. You can also research a place you would like to donate to as a family to get everyone involved in making a difference.

2. Host a Giving Party: If you’re having a holiday party this year, have guests bring food for a food drive or toys for children. Get your kids involved by helping you bring them to the donation dropoff.

3. Give to a Neighbor: Chances are some baked goods will be making their way out of your oven this season. Consider doubling a cookie recipe or bringing some slices of pie to your neighbor. Bring your child with you to deliver the gift and see their positive reaction.

4. Downsize: Give children a box to fill with stuff they don’t use anymore that they think would make another child happy.

Charitable giving and volunteering don’t need to be costly of time and money to make a difference. This holiday season, show your children and be personally reminded how the smallest acts of kindness can bring joy to those closest to us and members in our community, nation, and world.



“11 Ways to Give Back During the Holidays,” by Samantha Cleaver. Accessed on 5 December 2011.

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