Adults often pose the question "What is Santa Clause bringing you for Christmas?" to my very priveledged preschooler. She is quick to answer - spouting off a detailed list of many fantastic toys. It never crosses her mind that other children (and pets for that matter) are not blessed with the same loving, bountiful home life as she. While trying to instill compassion and giving in my daughter, I have been seeking out simple, easy ways around town where my daughter can give to others not quite as fortunate as herself. Here are a few ideas I came up with.
Donations to the Homeless Animals. Townlake Animal Shelter accepts lots of in-kind donations including food, toys, blankets, and towels. Since the baby doll blankets were really accumulating around my house anyway, we decided to take a tall stack of them down to the shelter. This was a double wammy act of kindness as it also teaches appreciation for her own dog who could also use additional love and kisses around here.
Pull Tabs for Ronald McDonald House. Let your Coc-a-cola and beer drinking go to a good cause this month (and every month) while your kids collect pull tabs for RMDH. RMDH provides housing for out of town families whose children are receiving medical treatment at local medical facilities. The pull tabs are recycled and proceeds go to RMDH in continuing their efforts. Pull tabs can be dropped off at the Ronald McDonald House in the new Mueller development - 1315 Barbara Jordan Blvd.
Good ol' Goodwill Donations. My little girl and I sort through toys and throw the ones she wants to give away into a box. Even when she struggles internally to let go of a particular toy, I see the compassion in her eyes as she reflects on the little girl or boy who needs it worse than her. We go drop them off at the Goodwill together. When you buy or donate to Goodwill you are contributing to Goodwill's mission of preparing individuals for job success.
If you think of any other ways kids can give of themselves, please feel free to send a comment.