Every year I have big plans for paying it forward during the holidays. For example, I have always wanted to buy a huge pile of gifts, have a gift wrapping party and then take the gifts to a hospital or women’s shelter. Every year, life (and money) gets in the way.
We do still find ways to join in the spirit of paying it forward. I want my kids to know; to really, really know how lucky they are – and how important it is to help those who are not as lucky.
- We donate to Toys for Tots each year. Usually my kids each choose an item to gift to Toys for Tots. I often donate extra swag too.
- For the past two years we have chosen a child from the gift tree at our son’s preschool. We then learn about the child through a letter he or she has written and buy items according to the child’s interests. This type of paying it forward tends to be more rewarding for my kids because of the personal interaction with the recipient.
- Last year I granted a wish to a child with cancer through Kisses for Kyle by filling a huge gift bag full of Toy Story items. My kids loved seeing what I put together for that brave five year old boy who just adored Buzz and Woody. You can check out this year’s wish list at http://www.kissesforkyle.org/2011-annual-wish-list.
This year, with the support of Disney, I will also be purchasing and creating a stocking filled with items from Walmart for a child in need as a simple service project for Champions for Kids.
Champions for Kids supports organizations working to make communities a better place for children. Their goal is to mobilize people to improve the lives of children in their communities. Simple service projects are just one way that we can pay it forward. In its first six years, Champions for Kids has provided over $500,000 in grants and worked with 48 organizations who serve over 180,000 children. To learn more about Champions for Kids, go to www.ChampionsforKids.org. You can also follow them on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Champions4Kids and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ChampionsforKids.
I cannot wait to donate a stocking to the local housing group which works to help people in crisis by providing affordable housing, food and other social services. Over the past year I have donated several household items to them and gotten the chance to know a dedicated member of their staff. The overwhelming majority of occupants in their care are single women with children, just trying to make ends meet. I hope that providing a fun-filled stocking to one of these women for her child will make the holidays a little brighter for both of them.
It sure will for me.
What about you? How do you pay it forward during the holiday season? How do you get your family involved?
Please join us for a Champions for Kids Twitter party December 15th at 9:00 pm EST, using the hashtags #DisneyCFK. and #CBias. I hope to see you there!
This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All anecdotes and opinions expressed in this post are purely my own. For more information, please see the Disclosure policy or contact me at Jessica@FoundtheMarbles.com. #CBias #DisneyCFK