Giving back isn’t just good for your soul; it also does wonders for your health. Research shows that the act of giving accompanies gratitude which causes people to feel healthier, happier, more optimistic, and more energized. So while you’re focused on perfecting the Thanksgiving Day feast and grabbing the best Black Friday deals, take a step back to focus on the important things; instilling an attitude of gratitude in your child. Here are 8 ways you can give back as a family, all year round:
- Raid the closets and toy room: Toys that have been neglected, or that suit that hasn’t fit you in over a decade? It’s time for them to move on to a new home! Contact a local women’s shelter or children’s charity that takes used donations. Sharing with your children that their donation will bring joy to someone less fortunate can help them part with those unplayed-with toys.
- Run, walk, or bike ride for a cause: Getting physical can be tough in the colder months. Give your family extra incentive by participating in a family activity that benefits a cause. Many communities host charity rides, walks and runs throughout the year for a myriad of causes. This is a great way to get out into the local community and give back as a family! Click here to find active charity events in your area.
- Clean up your community: If your family loves being outdoors, join a local conservation group or nature organization to pick up trash, or plant trees at local parks, beaches, or lakes. If you don’t have time to join a group you can always grab some gloves, a trash bag, and a little wagon and pick up your neighborhood with your family.
- Host a charity birthday party: Do your kids have too many toys and a birthday party that promises (too) many more? In lieu of gifts for your child kindly ask party goers to bring items for a local animal shelter, children’s hospital, or other local charity organization. Make it extra special and have your child select the benefitting organization.
- Bake for a cause: Set up a lemonade stand or host a bake sale and donate earnings to a local charity. Talk to your child about the different organizations they can donate to and let them choose!
- Donate your time: Local animal shelters are always looking for volunteers to clean and care for the dogs, cats, rabbits, and other animals in their facilities. Tip for parents: unless you’re looking to add a furry family member to your brood, forewarn the kids that you’re not there to bring home a new pet (yet)!
- Help your elders: Lend a hand to your elderly neighbor who struggles raking their leaves, putting up their holiday decorations or picking up all of the pesky crab apples in their yard. If you don’t have any elderly people in your neighborhood, contact your local retirement or veteran's home and ask how your family can help.
- Host a canned food drive: The holidays are a great time to host a local food drive to help those in need. Ask friends and family members to bring over a non-perishable food item and donate them to a local charity or food pantry.
The bottom line is, giving back is important and there are so many ways in which we can help those around us! These are just a few of the hundreds of ways your family can give back to your community during the holiday season and year-round. To learn more about The Little Gym or to find a class near you visit us here.