The holidays are fast approaching and everyone is making plans! Before it gets to late, I just want to remind everyone about volunteering over the holidays and how this can be a great way to bond with your teen. Volunteering over the holidays is not only a great way for your and your family to get closer, but it is also the best way to teach about perspective.
When I was a Sophomore in High School I got involved with the West Hollywood Food Coalition and volunteered one Christmas morning serving a sit down meal to about 300 homeless people. I was so shocked afterwords and it really made me appreciate our gifts, my family and friends. No matter how many times my parents told me to ‘appreciate what I have’ I didn’t truly appreciate it until I was able to see that many many others are not so fortunate.
Here are some ideas that I love, for you and your family to give back over the holidays:
-If you are Jewish and do not celebrate Christmas, consider going to a shelter on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning to serve food-or make it part of your Christmas celebration!
-Have your kids help you buy and wrap gifts for a children’s shelter, go out buy them and then wrap them together, you can then deliver them and watch kids open them at a shelter or at a children’s hospital.
-If you have a dog or a cuddly pet, go visit some of the children’s wards at the hospital over New Years or Christmas.
-Bake something with your kids and deliver it to a neighbor who might not have plans over the holidays.
-Go to a Retirement home or community and play games, sing carols or bring cards.
-Between Christmas and New Years clean out closets, garages and cars and have a garage sale–give all the proceeds to a Charity that your family chooses together.
-Have your child sponsor a child in another country. I had a child that I sponsored with my allowance and wrote letters to, his name was Rajesh and I still write to him even today! (this is a great way to give your kids perspective and it means so much to the kids who need help)
**Be sure to call ahead before dropping off presents, volunteering or donating to make sure that you come at a convenient time and are giving what they actually need.
I included a picture of me and my mom from the other day, she always taught me the value of giving and appreciating what you have.
Happy Holidays, Happy Giving!
Dream big, work hard and you will get there,