5 Ways to Give Back as a Family

Published: December 16, 2016, at 1:24 p.m. PT

Last updated: November 16, 2018, at 9:27 a.m. PT

The holiday season is a time for giving! It’s also a great time for kids to practice compassion and kindness while experiencing the joy of helping others. Engaging your kids in service projects as a family is a great way for kids to learn about giving.

Here are some ways to give back together: 

  • Sponsor a child or family in need within your local community. Many of our YMCA branches host a Giving Tree. Let your child help select a tag off the tree and then shop together to purchase the gifts requested.
  • Volunteer to wrap gifts at the Northgate Mall, with proceeds benefiting the YMCA Annual Fund Drive which provides scholarships for academic support programs, summer camps, meals for homeless youth and more.
  • Donate to a food bankLet your kids choose their favorite non-perishable foods either from your home pantry or during a special trip to the grocery store to give to your local food bank.
  • Pack stockings for the homeless people in your neighborhood. Together, pick out some holiday stockings and practical and fun items to fill them with! Some ideas include: granola bars, water bottles, toothpaste, a sweet treat and warm gloves or socks. Decorate the stockings or include handwritten cards from your child. Keep the stockings in your car, and hand them out to homeless people you encounter on your daily commutes.
  • Set up a hot chocolate stand for charity. Transform your typical lemonade stand into a hot chocolate stand and donate the proceeds to your favorite non-profit organization. Your kids will love the festive spin!