Giving to others is important and something you know that you want to teach your children. Of course, children learn best from watching their parents model the behavior. What do you do when you don’t have the money to give to causes that need it? How do you donate your time when you have 3+ kids who are actively involved in school and extracurricular activities? You find ways to fit giving into your day-to-day life. You encourage cultivating selflessness in yourself and your family. These 7 free ways to practice giving will help your family be philanthropic in your daily lives.
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Donate Old Kids’ Clothes to Foster Parents
The expectations of foster parents can change on a dime. Some coworkers of a family member were suddenly put in charge of an 8 month old who had been extricated for his safety. They had only ever fostered older kids and were in desperate need of clothes. We had a ton of old baby clothes so we boxed them up and sent the clothes to them.
Make Cards to Send to Deployed Service Members
This is a great one to get the kids involved in. Let them decorate cards, draw pictures, and write letters to service members thanking them for all that they do for our country. Once you have finished your cards give them to a group that sends them to the service members. Military Missions is a great place to send your finished cards to. They send out thousands of cards in care packages all year long. See their site for tips and the mailing address.
Send “Thinking of You” Cards
Speaking of sending cards, don’t wait for a special occasion. Send out handmade greeting cards to family and friends simply to brighten their days. Everybody loves getting a surprise in the mail. It lets loved ones know that you’re thinking about them. Don’t forget to get the kids in on this one too. Let them draw pictures or write letters to add to the card before mailing.
Pass Along That Gift Card
I firmly believe that you never know what someone is going through and the smallest gesture can have a huge impact. The next time that you’re at Target and your purchase gets you one of those free gift cards, pass it along. Let the cashier know that you would like it put towards the total of the person behind you in line. Think about the wonderful surprise of getting $5 or $10 off of your total for no reason except someone’s kindness. That’s pretty great!
Make Baby Books
If you have a talent for scrapbooking, use it to surprise new parents at the hospital. Use those extra supplies that you have around and create some sweet little baby books. When creating, be sure to leave areas for the parents to add photos of their baby’s milestones. If you need some inspiration you can check out this DIY Baby Book Gift.
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Speaking of babies, did you know that you can volunteer to rock babies in the hospital nursery? While this one will take more of your time, it won’t cost you a dime. Talk about one of the best ways to give back in the world. Check with a local hospital to find out about their volunteer policy and availability.
Free Child Care
One of the hardest things for busy parents to do is find time to have a date night alone. Offer the gift of free child care to friends and family. You can help mom and dad get some much needed time to refresh together. Grab free printable gift certificates to give at the links below. One has a pre-determined 3 hour time specified and the other does not have any time-frame specified.
Now you have 7 free ways to practice giving in your busy life. Which one will you try first? Don’t forget to get your kids involved in addition to modeling a spirit of giving for them. Many of these ideas can be done as a family, such as the cards and the baby books. Why not make your next family night a service project? It’s as easy as grabbing some cards, stickers, and markers and gathering around the table to create together. In what other ways does your family choose to practice giving? Let me know in the comments!