The disparity between rich and poor has widened during the pandemic. Toy drive donations are down 60% this year. The best way to teach empathy to children of all ages is to educate kids on the importance of helping those in need, and connecting them with their communities. These four holiday charities are a great ways to encourage kids to be altruistic.
Answer a letter to Santa! Make it a family tradition to reply to at least one letter a child in need writes to Old St. Nick! The letters can be read online. Shop for a gift, and drop it off at a participating location.
Donate new and unwrapped toys! You can shop for a new toy, or If you're like me, you probably have unopened toys sitting in your closet. According to the Marine Toys for Tots website, there is a greater need for donations with preteens and teenagers in mind. Some suggestions for this group include sporting goods, board games and remote-controlled cars. For more suggestions click here.
Got a crafty kid? Your budding artist can brighten a child's day by making holiday cards for children in the hospital. Cards for Hospitalized Kids was founded by Jen Rubino, a teenage girl who had 20+ surgeries in her lifetime. It was a card from a stranger that Jen received when she was a patient that inspired her to start this great program. For card guidelines click link: http://www.cardsforhospitalizedkids.com/
Donate Holiday Cards To your Local Nursing Home
Call your local nursing home and find out if they are accepting cards first. Make sure the card's don't contain glitter, or confetti. Let kids decorate holiday cards, that include messages like: "You are loved!" "Wishing You A Wonderful Day!" "For Someone Special and Wonderful!"
The holidays aren't just about shopping, overeating, and racing to the next event. It's about sharing and caring, and the sooner children learn this lesson the better! Studies show that children that practice gratitude tend to be happier, and the benefits of practicing kindness have a ripple effect.