Since having Caden and Carter, giving has become more important to me. It breaks my heart that there are kids who are lacking the basic necessities: food, clothing, and shelter. When our boys grow up, I want them to be givers. In order for them to become givers, they need to see us give. This Christmas season, I have been trying to find ways to include Caden in the giving process. I know that a lot of families are struggling financially, but there are a lot of ways to give without spending a lot of money. Here are some affordable ideas for getting young kids involved in the giving process this Christmas season:
1. Donate clothes and toys: Usually, before Christmas and birthdays, I go through the boys' toys and clothes and either give them to someone who I know needs them or donate them. This year, I decided to include Caden in the process. I am so proud of him; he donated two large bags of toys that he no longer plays with.
2. Donate food: You do not have to donate a lot of food. Caden picked out two items at the grocery store to put in the food barrel at church. Again, I do not think it is the amount that matters; it is the process of teaching our kids about the importance of giving.
3. Operation Christmas Child: For under $20, you can fill a shoe box for a child who lives somewhere around the world who has very little. Caden enjoyed shopping for a boy his own age and understood that the things we were buying were not for him.
4. Angel Tree: Since Caden was born, he has picked out a gift for a boy on the Angel Tree his own age. This year, I talked him in to picking a 3-month-old girl who wants car seat toys--how precious! In the past, I have been frustrated by the Angel Tree because of the requests for $100-$200 items. This year, there seemed to be a lot of requests for affordable gifts, which was nice to see.
5. Donate a new toy: During the Christmas season, many businesses collect new toys for kids. We have not donated a new toy yet, but plan on finding something for the RiverBend Pediatrics Drive. When you donate a new toy, it does not have to be an expensive toy. Both Ross and TJ Maxx are excellent places to find a nice toy for an affordable price. Caden loves searching the toy sections in both stores to look for "treasures."
It has been so much fun helping Caden pick things out for others. He has always had a giving heart, but I think he is beginning to understand that there are kids who have very little and he is blessed to have what he has.