I was really torn about whether or not I wanted to do a couple different gift guides this year or not. I could list what I thought were the best toys for babies, toddlers, teens, moms, and dads, but it seems like every blogger was putting out a gift guide of some kind. So, I have decided to take a different approach this year. Since my husband and I make a conscious effort to teach our daughter that the holiday season is for giving back to others I wanted to write a post which rounds up just some of the charities/opportunities for individuals to take all of those gift guide posts/ideas, and give back to the community.
Charities that donate toys/clothes to children in need:
Toys for Tots – The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve program is the first gift giving charity that comes to mind when thinking of the holidays. You can walk in to so many stores and see a Toys for Tots bin, and all the toys donated go back to those children in need in that community. The program usually helps children up to the age of 12, but you can check with your local chapter and see what their age range is.
Angel Tree – If you are in Maryland the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree is a great way to give back to those children and special needs adults that are in need during the holidays. You can go to the Salvation Army’s website to find a local mall or pick up location where you can pick up an Angel tree tag with the information and needs of a local child/special needs adult. You then purchase the items, and return the items with the tag at a designated drop off location. Many local churches in Maryland also participate in the Angel tree program as well.
Shoes that Fit – Shoes are really important. Especially for school children. Shoes that Fit take donations on their website, or you can purchase a tag at Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. Your donation then goes towards the purchase of new athletic shoes for children in need across the United States.
Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child – This is a charity that my daughter and I have been donating to for the last three years. You can donate on their website, build a shoebox full of items online, pick up a box, fill it with items and then return it to a designated pickup location. The boxes are shipped all over the world to children in need. The boxes can contain toys, hygiene products, clothes, etc. My daughter and I go to our local Chick-Fil-A during the beginning of November to pick up our box. Next year we will be picking up two boxes to fill up since we will be adding another little one to our family as well.
Shop at businesses that give back this holiday season:
While you are shopping for your own family this season why not shop at stores that give back/donate to the community. Below are just a few great small businesses who donate back to their communities throughout the year or during the holiday season.
Lighthouse Kids Company – While this is a cloth diaper company Lighthouse Kids Company makes a point to give back to their community by donating 5% of their profits to Hannah’s Home of South Florida. Hannah’s Home helps pregnant women get back up on their feet and offers them resources to help better their lives and in turn the lives of their children.
Bohemian Baby Boutique – Bohemian Baby is a natural parenting store located in Knoxville, Tennessee. While shopping for your own family you also have the option to donate to their Toys for Tots bin. Just search for “Toys for Tots” and you will be able to add a monetary amount to your cart and the lovely employees will select toys up to that amount to put in their bin.
Nicki’s Diapers and Hope Love Care – Nicki’s Diapers in New Glarus, WI runs a non-profit called Hope Love Care. For every Nicki’s Diapers company cloth diaper and swaddle blanket purchased a cloth diaper or swaddle blanket is donated to children in need all over the world. No family should have to choose between purchasing food for their family or diapers.
Non-monetary donation opportunities:
Donate your Time – If you do not have the monetary ability to donate to a charity during the holidays than donate your time. Volunteering at your local food bank, homeless shelter, women’s shelter, church, etc. is just as good as a monetary donation.
So, again. Put all of those gift giving guides to another use and help children and families in need this holiday season. Have a charity you would like to share with us? Go ahead and list them and their information in the comments so more people can see!