I have made my kids do an annual holiday community project. One year we wrapped over 400 books for an impoverished kids party (we did this project in conjunction with Volunteers of America), one year we collected school supplies, one year we picked a family that we knew and we acted as Secret Santa delivering the gifts Christmas Eve Night to their door (which was a funny story in and of itself – seeing my kids carefully pick presents for each of the Secret Santa kids and play like they were almost burglars in black leaving the packages and running to the “get away car” which I was driving).
I share 50/50 time with my ex with my kids. This year’s project that I really wanted to be involved in is on a weekend that my kids are with my ex. (I will still do the project) So, I need to find something for them to do. In the years past I have not had any money to speak of (and one year I even qualified for food stamps). This year, I have a bit more money. I want to not only do a project that involves our time (I think this are more meaningful for my kids – and really more memorable). But I do also want to donate to Denver Rescue Mission. The money helps to provide a hot, nutritious meal, safe bed and a special Christmas gift – a pair of warm socks to remind them that somebody cares. I love that when the Rescue Mission sent the solicitation – they sent these little “cards” that my kids can sign. They can put their own name on it. My kids don’t need to know how much I am donating. They just need to understand that they have not ever had to think about a meal, a roof, and clothes.
I am still looking for that “show them” project this year. (I’m taking suggestions). But I think showing them that there are all kinds of ways to give from sending money to spending time. All are needed and appreciated. If you know of someone that could use a little pick me up this season (even if it is a hand-written note) will you please email me and give me their info.