In our last blog post we laid out the benefits of living a life full of gratitude. One fantastic way to instill thankfulness in your children is by giving back. It’s never too early to involve your children in acts of altruism, but it can be difficult to find activities for all age groups. We’ve done the research for you and found some ways to give back in Central Pennsylvania and around the world with your whole family.
Go shopping for the Humane Society- The Dauphin County Humane Society has a wish list of items that can be fulfilled at any time. They are especially asking for paper towels, non-clumping kitty litter, non-scented Clorox bleach, sturdy dog toys, dry kitten chow food and cat toys. Take your little ones shopping, let them each pick out a special dog or cat toy, and then drop all of the items off at the shelter together.
Raise a Service Dog- If your family is ready to make a longer-term commitment, consider applying to train a puppy in your home. Susquehanna service dogs help children and adults become more dependent. Service dogs in training need lots of love and exercise and love to go to all over town. Dog food is the only cost to the puppy raiser family.
Walk and feed shelter dogs- Volunteers are needed to come to the Canine Rescue of Central PA shelter in Dillsburg to help walk and feed the dogs or help to clean the runs.
Care for military members- Operation Gratitude makes it easy to help deployed service members feel cared for. You can write letters, put together holiday care packages, and even send leftover Halloween candy to members of the military around the world.
Write letters, send Halloween candy, and send holiday packages to deployed service members here.
Deliver Meals on Wheels- Delivering meals to seniors and people with disabilities is a perfect fit for families with young kids. According to Meals on Wheels, “For many recipients, the daily visit from volunteers is the only human contact they’ll have all day, so imagine the joy on their faces when they’re greeted by smiling children!” https://meals-on-wheels.com/volunteer/families
Donate to thrift shops- Organizations like CommunityAid, The Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Volunteers of America accept donations year-round of clothing, toys, books, and household items. Before the holidays bring a new stash of toys, help your child to pick out some special items to donate. Make sure you talk to them about where their toys will go and how their donation will bring joy to another child.
Look out for your neighbors- Think about adopting elderly residents in your neighborhood. Shovel their sidewalks and check in on them on snowy days. Lead your children in making cards and drawings to deliver in person or drop off as a surprise in their mailbox.
Pick up your neighborhood- Grab your kids, some gloves, and trash bags and spend some time picking up litter in your neighborhood. Make it a part of your daily routine. Harrisburg residents in particular have been challenged to participate in Two Minute Tuesday. The idea is simple- spend two minutes every Tuesday cleaning up the space around your home.
We hope this is a very fulfilling Holiday season for the whole family. Check out our last blog post on how to raise grateful kids here which goes hand in hand with this!