Now that Halloween has passed, it’s officially the holidays. And the holidays are always a perfect time to reflect on how blessed we are and to take time to give back to those who aren’t as fortunate.
I’ll be the first to admit I live a very blessed life. My parents always worked hard to make sure we had everything we needed, and lots of things we wanted, and then we had grandparents who made sure we had anything we wanted. Church was the center of our family. We attended private school and between these two places we had constant opportunities to give back to those in need. And not only in our local community, but even to children and families in other countries. I LOVED participating in canned food drives at school (I was giving back AND getting rid of the creamed corn from our pantry), collecting pennies as a classroom for a local shelter, and even finding a girl in Guatemala, through our church, for our family to sponsor to allow her to go to school.
Now that I’m an adult, it’s important to me to continue to give back in any way I can, whether it’s monetary or my time. The time we spend together giving back to our community is something I want Blaire and Ben to remember from their childhood. I think being a philanthropic example to your children is important and there are some easy ways you can do it!
1 | Bring them with to volunteer events and let them help.
Blaire has been coming to volunteer events before she turned a year old. Even though she couldn’t “contribute” much at that age, she loves to look back at pictures of her from the same yearly events and see how she’s grown. She has a sense of pride in seeing pictures of her at events as a baby that she remembers going to more recently. We have done fundraising 5k’s, since the majority of them almost all allow strollers. Blaire has attended events where we’ve packaged baskets of hygiene products for shelters, events where we packaged meals for food banks, and even helped pick out items for diaper drives. From the time she could walk, there’s always been something she can do… from “handing out” the baskets to people assembling their hygiene baskets to peeling the labels off of their sheets for me to place on packaging, people are patient with young children and just enjoy having them there, so they have never been upset if a tasks takes a little longer to complete than if an adult was doing it.
2 | Lead by example in your every day life.
There are countless ways to give back in little ways. From cleaning up litter, to helping someone load their groceries into their car, holding the door for someone, making a purchase from a bake sale outside the grocery store, donating toys and clothing to local shelters, etc. These are all easy things we can do to set an example of a philanthropic heart to our children. And then #3 comes in to play.
3 | Talk to your children about giving back.
And any time you are doing something that you consider giving back, you need to talk to your children about WHY you’re doing these things and HOW they’re helping. Even when it’s something as simple as buying from a socially-conscious brand. Are you buying an item from a company that donates products or proceeds to someone in need? Tell your child! We are buying these glasses because a pair is donated to someone in need. OR We are buying these shoes because they give a pair to someone in need each time someone buys a pair. Explaining to them that there are children in the world in need of shoes or glasses and that we can help them by carefully choosing the brands we support is an easy way to give back.
There are so many great opportunities for us to give back to, and one that’s not very well-known are community diaper banks. There are more than 300 in the US and 65% of families are unaware of the assistance they provide in their communities.
Did you know:
- 1 in 3 U.S. families struggle to provide enough diapers to keep their baby or toddler clean, dry, and healthy?
- Of families in diaper need, three-in-five parents (57%) miss work or school due to a lack of sufficient diapers required by childcare, day care or early education programs to care for a baby or toddler. As a result, parents experiencing diaper need missed an average of four days of work or school in the past month?
- 73% of all families feel they’re not being good parents when their children are left too long in dirty diapers, while
one-in-three households in need experience feeling stressed or overwhelmed by diapering always or often?
With stats like these, it’s clear these diaper banks need our help, not only to collect supplies, but to spread the word about their work within our local communities. Huggies and Kroger are partnerning together to help! How? For every pack of Huggies diapers purchased at Kroger, now through December 2, Huggies and Kroger will donate a day’s worth of diapers to the National Diaper Bank Network.
Not only that, but when you buy 1 Big Pack or 2 Jumbo Packs of diapers at Kroger, you will get a FREE pack of Huggies wipes. So not only are you doing good by helping local diaper banks, you’re saving yourself money, too. It’s the perfect time to buy extras to donate to your local diaper banks (most are accepting wipes, too!) You can also keep them in mind if you have an open package of diapers your baby has outgrown. Anything helps!
Raising children with kind hearts who want to give back is important to me. So far, Blaire loves helping in any way she can and I hope she never loses that about her. This world can use as much kindness as it can get, so let’s raise a kinder generation, together.
How do you teach your kids to give back? What are your favorite ways to give back together?