We often talk about finding ways to make charity and volunteering more accessible to kids. It’s important to instill these responsibilities early on, so that they can grow into adults who take their role in their community seriously. The holidays are often a time for traditions and togetherness, the perfect opportunity to add a little selflessness to the mix for the younger members of the family. Try making Halloween about more than the costumes and the candy this year with a few of these ideas.
Halloween Candy for the Troops
Did you know that you can send leftover Halloween candy to military members serving overseas through organizations like Operation Gratitude? These brave people are away from their friends and family during the holidays and could likely use some cheering up. As a bonus, you could have your child choose a branch of the Armed Forces to dress up as for Halloween. These organizations also have options to send items off the wish list if you’re looking to send more than sugary treats.
Participate in Food Drives
The holidays are generally a big time for food drives with local food pantries or food banks. It’s common to end up with leftover or unused pre-packaged goods that you bought for a party or event. Look for places to donate that food before it goes bad sitting in your pantry. To go a step above and beyond, take your child to volunteer at a food bank or pantry to sort the incoming food or stock shelves. They’ll get a chance to work as a team with the other volunteers and do good work for others.
Focus on the ‘Treat’
Sometimes, instilling neighborly love in our children is as simple as preparing a treat to give away to others. While many parents aren’t the biggest fan of home-baked goods for trick-or-treating, think about making something special for a neighbor you’d like to get to know. This can be the overworked new parent or the elderly person who struggles getting out of the home. Deliver the treat with your child and encourage them to interact with this other member of their community.