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Giving Gracefully: 12 Ways You and Your Child Can Give Back All Year Long

All children are born with compassion. We teach our children to talk and help them learn to walk. We must also provide them with opportunities to give graciously.

Giving gracefully is the ultimate gift of love and compassion. He is non-negotiable and has no ulterior motives. Grace is at the heart of every true gift, embracing warmth, compassion, and love to the giver and receiver.

Many believe that the need to give to those in need is greatest during the holidays. While the holiday season increases both the need and the desire to give, it is important to give gracefully all year long. The spirit of Christmas should bless your child’s life throughout the year, and it is important to involve your child in where and what he wants to give as a gift. It doesn’t have to be complicated to give. Here are twelve ways you and your child can give graciously all year long.

1. Create a school donation box

Take your child to your local dollar store and let him select school supplies for children in need. Many local schools and shelters accept donations of school supplies for low-income families in the area. The Portland, Oregon, School Supply House organization offers a free store and receives regular donations from local families and businesses.

2. Help your neighbor throughout the year

Rake leaves for an elderly neighbor, bake homemade bread or cookies to send to our service men and women, or deliver to a homeless shelter. Make homemade soup for a sick neighbor or friend. Bake treats and take them to a home for the elderly. These are easy gifts for our neighbors.

3. Snuggle blankets

What little child do you know who isn’t attached to that special “blanket” that offers security, warmth and love? It’s something that many underprivileged children simply don’t have. Place the gift of warmth with a homemade blanket or buy a soft one in the arms of children in need. Project Linus provides easy-to-make, no-sew blanket kits.

Four. break bread with others

Throughout the year they seek to organize a food drive, serve at a homeless shelter, or build food baskets for families in need. Involve your child in selecting canned goods, fruit, and other goodies for the basket. During the holidays, decorate the gift package. Your church or school can help find families in need.

5. Deposit change and make a difference

Even our loose change can make a difference! Creating a charity jar for the whole family to put their loose change in to donate to charity.

6. animal mimes

Local humane societies and animal shelters are always in need of volunteers and supplies. Shelter animals need time to play while they wait for their forever home. Make and deliver kitty toys. Buy kitty litter and kibble and let your child spend time with the animals that receive their gift.

7. Donate used toys and clothes

Your local Good Will and similar organizations are always looking for gently used toys, shoes, coats, and clothing. Have your child choose toys and clothing that he can pass on to these organizations. Take it with you when you drop off the gifts.

8. make a happy noise

Children love to sing. Join other parents and host a music concert in your local school auditorium or church, with proceeds from ticket sales donated to a local children’s charity. During the holidays, go caroling at a local nursing home or children’s hospital. Many seniors are delighted to have young guests, especially if they don’t have grandchildren of their own and nothing touches the heart more than bringing a happy noise and a teddy bear to a child in a hospital.

9. make a lot of smiles

A handmade or “just because” holiday card with a gift of homemade cookies or bread can bring a smile to your child’s local champions, like a teacher, local police officer, pediatrician or school bus driver. These local heroes are an important part of your child’s life!

10 cleaning walk

Take a walk around your neighborhood or local playground and pick up any trash you see along the way. This is a great family outing that provides a service to your community and also gets some exercise!

eleven Throw a charity birthday party

Birthday parties are a great time to give to others. When hosting your child’s birthday party, ask guests to bring a new or gently used book or toy to donate to a local charity or shelter.

12 be a christmas angel

Most malls have a “Christmas angel tree,” filled with tags containing the child’s name, age, clothing size, and special request for toys. Have your child choose a tag and shop together for the child in need.

It is the job of parents to teach their children to give with joy and grace. Each of us must “give what he has decided in his heart to give, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”Corinthians 9:7)

© 2013 Catherine L Pittman

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