There is nothing I love more than giving back this time of year and making children smile. In our home we are gearing up for the holidays and one way I try to teach my children humility and good character is by giving back and making them part of the process. Making others smile is an important lesson I want my children to learn. This time of year is not just about getting but giving, too. I suggest starting as young as you can, because even if your child isn’t speaking yet, they are watching, learning, and soaking in everything you are doing. You are your child’s mentor and role model, so what better way to use your special parenting powers for good?
- Donate Toys – I help my children fill an empty box with toys that they don’t play with anymore. It could be toys that they are developmentally too old for and or toys that they have outgrown in some way. We make sure all of the toys are in working condition and have all the pieces in tact. We clean each toy and then put it in the box! We then take the box of toys to Goodwill or Salvation Army.
- Operation Christmas Child – Once a year we fill a shoebox of toys, books, and bathroom essentials for a child in need of those items. We track the box so we can find out what country our box goes to and the whole process turns into a creative geography lesson.
- Food Drive – I take my children to the grocery store and we pick out food to donate. Then we fill a grocery bag filled with boxed and canned food and donate it to the local food bank or a charity in need of food. Sometimes we even ask our neighbors or school friends to help donate as well.
- Toys for Tots – We make a special trip to the store, typically on Black Friday, and buy a bag filled with new, unwrapped toys, games, and stuffed animals and donate them to a local Toys for Tots drop off location.
- Children’s Hospital – We donate toys to our local Children’s Hospital. They are very particular on the condition of the toys, for good reason, so before you donate, make sure that you are getting the correct items in need and that the toys are new and clean.
- Random Acts of Kindness – With proper supervision and depending on where we are at, I will give my children a few dollars to the person in line behind us to buy their coffee, or give a couple of quarters to a little child at the toy store so they can ride one of the rides at checkout, or give a child a penny to make a wish in the fountain. This makes the stranger’s day and fills my children with joy.
- Pen Pal Gifts – My children have pen pals, typically the children of my friends that are of the same age, from all over the country, that we will send a letter and or a gift to once a month. The kids get really creative and thoughtful with their gifts!
- Secret Santa – We will pick up something small at the store, typically the dollar section at Target, and leave it on one of our neighbor’s porches for their children!
Another way to send a smile and give back to a child at the same time is by buying a Happy Crate subscription for your own child or as a gift for another child. Happy Crates is a unique gift and subscription crate company that is dedicated to sharing smiles with children fighting cancer in the US. The Leonard family, whose first-born son was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor at just 8 weeks old, owns this incredibly humble company.
“While walking the halls of the hospital after Darren’s diagnosis, time and time again, we learned the TRUE value of a smile. Something that I believe we ALL take for granted at some point, in our crazy busy lives, hustling from one thing to another, just worrying about ourselves, and taking care of our families.” – The Leonards
And what better way to help a child smile than through play? Each crate is filled with top quality, fun, unique gifts that are product tested before placed in the crate. These gifts are kid tested and mom approved. And by getting a subscription, Happy Crates does all the work for you! They shop for toys, books, crafts, and other gifts that are good quality that will engage your child and last a long time! This way, you don’t have to spend your time researching items on your own and spending a ton of time online or at the store yourself. The crates will come fully packed with goodies to your door each month. And the crates are carefully curated based on your child’s age!
Boxes are age appropriate for 3-4, 5-7 or 8+. The 3-4 aged crates are called the Smiley Crates! The 5-7 aged crates are called the Giggle Crates and the 8+ crates are called the Silly Crates! PLUS, they have single gift crates like The Courageous Superhero Celebration Crate, Fairies and Unicorns Celebration Crate, Down on the Farm Celebration Crate, Pirate Adventure Celebration Crate, and more! And its ALWAYS FREE SHIPPING!!
And did I mention how much I love working with brands that give back? You can show your support for childhood cancer and make a difference at the same time! In addition to crates, you can also shop men’s and women’s tees here https://www.sendhappycrates.com/product-category/happy-gear/ 50% of the proceeds from their Happy Crates Gear funds their mission, AND $1 from EVERY piece of their Gear is donated to their charity partner, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation!! They are a national childhood cancer foundation dedicated to raising funds for research into new treatments and cures for all children battling cancer. One step closer to a CURE, one SMILE at a time!
And for only $25 you can gift a child battling cancer with a Holiday Crate to a hospital of your choice (options on website) by clicking here https://www.sendhappycrates.com/product/holiday-crate-child-fighting-cancer/
You can purchase a 3 month, 6 month, or 12 month subscription from Happy Crates. You can expect to receive your first crate within 7-10 days after ordering and need I remind you that you always get FREE SHIPPING? And 20% of each crate subscription funds their mission to supply Happy Crates to children fighting cancer in the US.
To get your first subscription box use code PARENT10 to save $10 off your first month of a 6 or 12 month subscription! Please visit https://www.sendhappycrates.com to order now!
Want to WIN a crate of your own? Please visit my Instagram @theparentologist or by clicking this link https://www.instagram.com/theparentologist/?hl=en to enter to win!!!