An old saying that has never been more relevant. In these hard economic times (for some) it is important to remember to support, share, and aid those less fortunate. Try making giving a new tradition for your family. Teach your children and loved ones how important it is to help those less fortunate, to appreciate what they have, and start a new holiday tradition. The joy of helping someone can be so fulfilling and better than any box found under your menorah or holiday tree. Here are a few ways of giving available in most communities.
"Toys for Tots is a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve, which donates toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for the Holiday season. Founded in 1947."
Have your children help shop for and go with you to the donation site to get involved and see what the organization is all about.
"PAWS Chicago is the city's largest NO KILL humane organization, focused on implementing solutions to end the killing of homeless pets. Founded in 1997, the number of homeless dogs and cats killed annually has dropped more than 50 percent. PAWS Chicago will find new homes for more than 4,000 homeless pets in 2010 through their state-of-the-art Adoption and Humane Center. This cageless Adoption Center provides homeless pets with the care and dignity they deserve."
There are many ways to give to PAWS either through donations or volunteering your time. I highly encourage you to visit their site. If choosing to donate funds, I encourage you to take a trip with your family or friends to the Adoption center to see where your funds are going and experience this amazing organization.
I have donated money on several occasions to PAWS and volunteered walking and playing with dogs and the facility. It is a truly rewarding experience and brought me my Logan who I adopted on Mothers Day 2009.
If you're not in Chicago find an animal shelter in your area or donate nationally at ASPCA.
"The Food Depository distributes 66 million pounds of food, including more than 12.8 million pounds of produce, to 650 pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in Cook County. Nearly 142,000 men, women and children turn to the Food Depository's network each week, and nearly 678,000 people turn to the network annually."
You can choose to volunteer and/or donate. This holiday season this is the charity of my choice. Over Thanksgiving I participated in a Food Drive with a FREE Mat class on Thanksgiving day and I have extended my work with them through the holiday with a virtual food drive. Click here to donate online through my virtual food drive.
Hope this gives you some great ideas of how to give more this holiday season. The reward of knowing that you helped a child, family, or animal is the best gift you and your family can receive. If you have a favorite charity or organization that you like to support during the holiday season, please feel free to list it below in the comment section. Happy Holidays!