This news story ( http://www.bigdog1009.ca/news/Story.aspx?ID=1557870 ) that was aired this morning on our local radio station really caught my attention. Please take a moment to read/listen.
It got me thinking of ways that we as a family can help. During this time of the year, my family gives back in many ways. Here’s a list of what we do:
– The local radio stations in the area hold a food drive every year to raise food and funds for our local food bank. I take the kids to the grocery store and they each buy food to donate. I try to target their age groups. J1 buys things that kids can take to lunch like Alphagetti, soup, crackers, snacks. M also buys things that she likes such as crackers, cereal, oatmeal. And this year J2 will do what we did when M was a baby; formula and baby food. After listening to the above mentioned article, we will also be donating cash to help with the expenses of running the building.
-We donate any used outer wear that we have to Coats for Kids. Here in Truro, you drop off any good used outer wear to Wilsons Fuel, and Maggie’s Place and The Boys and Girls Club of Truro and Colchester distribute them to families in need.
-Every Christmas, we take the kids to Zellers and they each pick out a name from the tree to buy a child a gift. They pick out someone who is the same age as them and they each get a certain amount of money to spend on their child. D and I buy each child 1 less gift then we would normally and they learn that instead of getting that extra gift, the child that they picked off the tree will be getting it instead.
-During the year, I pick up an extra box of cereal, pasta, canned good, etc. and put it in the donation box at the grocery store. Both stores that I normally shop at have one. If your store does not, then ask to have one! It doesn’t cost me that much extra on my grocery bill, and I normally pick up two sale items instead of one to throw in there.
-I sell the kids used clothes in clothing sales. Whatever doesn’t sell (usually more than half come back home) I put the rest in the Diabetes Association bins. They are red and are all over Truro now. If there are no red bins in your area, you can call 1-800-505-5525. You can also donate any used clothes to your local Salvation Army or your local children’s center. Our local Maggie’s Place accepts gently used clothes to give out to families in the area.
I know it’s a bit early to be thinking about this, but people need food and clothing all year round. I always think about what would happen if we needed help to clothe or feed our children. So instead of giving back around the holidays when most people do, try finding ways that you can help out all year round!