During this time of the year, I like to remind my kids that there are little boys and girls that might be going hungry, and how important it is for us to give in order to help those families in need.
This is a tradition we started a few years back when my grandmother asked that in lieu of giving her gifts for Christmas, that we donate to a local food pantry. I decided that instead of writing a check, I would take my kids to the grocery store, pick up food items, and hand deliver them to the organization. This way, my kids could see how their actions really made a difference. I have made this trip to our local food pantry to donate goods for the past 3 years.
Since this was a teaching moment, I started talking about what we were going to do about a week in advance. We then went to our local Publix Supermarket, and took advantage of a current Buy One Get One Free Sale for canned vegetables. This gave us the ability to stretch our donation a little further. I then took the kids to the Food Pantry and they helped carry the items and place them into the donation container.
After the drop off, we discussed how it felt to be hungry, and I asked could they imagine feeling that way all the time. Their responses were “That would feel bad, or that would feel yucky”. Both of my kids still have much to learn about helping others in need, but I hope these continued trips each year along with other volunteer opportunities, will leave them thinking about how they can truly make a difference in other people’s lives.
Do you do anything with your kids to help them understand the importance of helping others? I would love it if you would share!
If you are looking to donate to a local food pantry, visit feedingamerica.org and look for the “FEEDING AMERICA IN YOUR COMMUNITY” tab on the right hand side of the page. If you still need further details, I suggest calling a local church in your community, and they should be able to direct you to an appropriate organization.