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Christmas charities where families can volunteer together to give back

The holidays can be a season of joy. You get together with loved ones and receive cards from long-time friends who live across the country. Gift shopping can be stressful, but it’s so worth it to see your kid’s face light up brighter than your tree.

Unfortunately, this time of year isn’t the happiest for everyone. For some, it can be a reminder of what they don’t have, such as strong connections with loved ones or money to purchase their child the trendiest toys on the shelves. Lending a helping hand can not only allow these folks to have a happier holiday, but it can also be beneficial for your children. Giving back as a family can teach kids empathy and the importance of altruism.

You may have a ton on your plate, so finding Christmas charities can be overwhelming. Let us help you and yours help others.

child and father writing letters

More Love Letters

Getting holiday cards in the mail is a fun surprise. It can be cool to see how much your cross-country friends’ kids have grown in the last 12 months. However, some people may not get the same amount of mail. In fact, they may feel rather lonely during the holiday season.

More Love Letters’ volunteers help give people the pick-me-up they need through the simple act of collecting handwritten letters. From December 6 to 17, the organization is holding “The 12 Days of Love Letters.” Every day, the organization will feature a story about a person who could use some cheer. People can write sweet notes which will get mailed to those who need them most. Though the promotion lasts 12 days, you and your family can spread holiday cheer all month long.

Toys for Tots

You love seeing your children’s faces on Christmas morning. Sadly, not every child experiences that same joy. Toys for Tots, a charity headed up by the Marine Corps, is trying to change that by collecting toys for children whose caregivers cannot afford to purchase them. Talking to your children about how some kids don’t have the same good fortune can help foster empathy and make them grateful for what they have. Allowing them to help pick out a toy or two for another child empowers them to create change. Families can donate online through a virtual toy box or find a drop-off in their community.

Some communities also organize hot chocolate runs for Toys for Tots, where a portion of the proceeds go to the organization, and participants can donate a new toy on race day. Signing up to run or volunteer at a race and picking out a toy together can be a way to get out and give back as a family.

child in blanket on couch

Project Linus

The weather outside can get a tad frightful this time of year. Project Linus helps children in need, such as those with an illness or who have been traumatized, feel physically and emotionally warm by collecting handmade blankets. You and your family can become “blanketeers.” The website has free patterns you can choose from, and you and your children can hunt for materials together. Then, you can work as a team to create quilts, comforters, fleece blankets, crocheted or knitted afghans, or receiving blankets. You’ll just want to ensure your blanket is washable, doesn’t have any pins, and is made in a smoke-free environment because of allergy concerns. When you’re done, simply drop it off at a local chapter.

Salvation Army Angel Tree

Salvation Army and Walmart are teaming up to play Santa to children and families in need. Work with your kids to find the perfect present for a child whose parents are struggling right now. Your and your family can take on this project online or in a store. Find a store or shop online using Walmart’s Registry for Good. Have your children think about what another kid might love to find under a tree. If your older kid receives an allowance, asking him to put a portion of his own money in to help pay for the item can promote social responsibility.

Donating time, money, and items to Christmas charities during the holiday season can be a way to spread good cheer and will. It’s also a gift to you and your child. When you give back as a family, it can help children learn about empathy and kindness and can help them appreciate what they have. Volunteering together is also a bonding experience. Charities take on all sorts of projects this time of year. Many focus on ensuring underprivileged children have a toy under their tree. Others let people know they are not alone by writing special letters. Families can also warm people’s bodies (and hearts) with no-sew blankets. Talk to your child about what she’s grateful for and the importance of helping others, and be sure to get her involved by letting her write letters, make blankets, or pick out toys.

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