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Thanksgiving the date may have passed, but Thanks Giving the verb lives every day! The team at Wonder Bunch Media spent some time looking for ways our children could help us give back this sweet season, and we loved how many opportunities we found to make our community a better, safer, happier place! Check out a few opportunities below, and be sure to tag us on social media if you and your family take part in any of these fun giving activities!
Thrift for coats, hats, gloves, and boots to donate to your local shelter. Include your friends and challenge them to clean out their closets before holiday gifts take up more space than they have left. New socks and undergarments are especially hard to keep in stock and are desperately needed to help keep those most in need warm as the temperatures fall. You can find a shelter near you here, and many have a list of the items they are currently looking for right on their site.
While soup kitchens and pantries have all the help they need on Thanksgiving, that help disappears quickly as the season wears on and holiday fuss and bustle distracts do-gooders. Find an organization near you by heading to Why Hunger and calling or signing up directly.
Many have kid-appropriate jobs and tasks available like collecting dishes, cleaning tables, and serving sides. Be sure to ask ahead of time if little hands will make work light before showing up with your pint-sized helpers!
Collect money, canned goods, or casseroles for a local pantry, soup kitchen, or food bank. There isn’t a time they don’t need extra support, but during these colder months the need grows rapidly. Ask to post flyers at nearby coffee shops, churches, and schools and schedule regular pickups so your good deed doesn’t become a burden for your drop-off location partners. Create a family competition, and whomever raises the most money gets to open the first gift this year. Make it as fun as it is helpful to those in need.
Many people in nursing homes are the last of their family, or live too far to see the ones they love as often as they’d like. Kids are a welcome distraction during a season when they are likely missing their loved ones more than usual! Bring crafts to work on together or books to read. Or collect recipes from the residents and put together a cook book to celebrate the time you’ve all spent together! This experience is enriching for everyone involved.
Bring your old tennis balls, ropes, and summer toys to be enjoyed (and probably destroyed) by fun, frisky little furballs who would give new life to your family’s discarded sports gear. Make a tie blanket out of extra fabric, or donate old blankets and towels to give animals a softer, warmer spot to call home while they wait for their forever families. And speaking of forever families…
Foster a pet
Not ready to commit? Let your children practice their care giving skills and learn just what it takes to be a pet owner by fostering this season! Taking in a furry (or feathery, or scaly) friend gives animal shelters more capacity to house neglected, abandoned, and homeless pets this very cold season, while giving the fostered pets practice living in a safe and loving home.
Bring treats to a nearby fire department
They are always there, ready to take a call. Always. The next time you’re baking a tray of holiday treats, or thinking of what to do with a surplus of gift cards, think of your local fire department. They would love a coffee delivery, sandwiches, or snacks while they’re sitting around waiting to save the day!
Meals on Wheels
During the quarantine, Door Dash and Grub Hub felt like our link to the outside world. Even though we didn’t see or interact with them, it helped us feel a little more independent and less isolated. Before there was Instacart, there was Meals on Wheels. MOW continues to serve those who can’t access the transportation or the mobility to do their own grocery shopping.
Whether the need is temporary or part of a transition to a more assisted lifestyle, prolonging a person’s independence offers them a more fulfilled, safer, and more dignified life in times of hardship. Volunteering with Meals on Wheels, or simply checking in with elderly neighbors who may be nervous driving in snowy weather can be the lifeline someone needs to make their season bright!
Use what you’ve got
If you don’t have the resources or the time to commit to ongoing giving, enlist your littles to help pick up at a local park, shovel your neighbor’s steps, or walk dogs for neighbors in need. Every little bit of good helps, and helps your child prioritize looking for ways to help out. Raising compassionate, mindful children will ensure a more giving, more inclusive future for us all!
We are always looking for more ways to give! Do you know of an organization that could use a signal boost, shout out, or a bit of help this season? Drop us a link on our social media, or email us at Hello@Wonderbunch.Com.