The holiday season may be over, but that doesn’t mean te season is giving is over! We should always be looking for ways to give back to the community.
KBTC works with community partners year-round but spent special time over the holiday break putting together donations for local children. This year, KBTC staff provided Educational Holiday Packet Donations to help prevent learning loss during the holiday break and packed and distributed 50 educational holiday bags to students in our community. These bags contained PBS KIDS educational activities and additional materials to complete these activities at home, as well as school supplies and small gifts from the KBTC staff. Materials included a watercolor set, crayons, a deck of cards, folder, and bookmarks and gift bags were distributed to students at McCarver Elementary School and children who attend Children’s Life Preschool.
Part of our family traditions include donating to our favorite charities. I like to do this with my daughter so she sees the importance of giving back to her community. From our local Children's Cancer Center to animal shelter, we do our best to give back in some way, not only during the holidays but throughout the year. And there are plenty of ways you can donate and volunteer all year long. What are some ways your family likes to give back? Share with us your family traditions!
Giving Back to our Communities:
Donate Linens to Your Local Animal Shelter:
About twice a year our family will go through our linens to see what we can donate to our local animal shelter. They are always in need of towels and small blankets so research in your area the nearest shelter and drop off what you no longer need. You can also ask if they are accepting food donations. We have done this in the past but always good to call ahead first. Here is list of county animal shelters.
Drop off toys at your local fire station:
Many Fire Stations around the country are working with Toys for Tots or other local organizations. See if they accept toys all year long! Though Christmas time is a great time to give back, see if they have food or toy drives throughout the year!
Contact a Children's Hospital:
We are located near a Ronald McDonald House and have donated toys and books throughout the year. This home is where families who are having to go through cancer treatment at a local children's hospital stay free of charge. It is a wonderful center and have provided many families with the help they need. We contact them each year to see what needs they might have - from clothing to toys to books. Usually you are not allowed inside the facility due to privacy for the families but they are always happy to have items dropped off.
Check with your local homeless shelters:
For the past few years we have hosted a Project Night Night event where we collect a stuffed animal, baby blanket and children' book from the community and donate them to our local women and children's shelter. The Project Night Night Tote Bags are given to children when they first arrive at the shelter - many times with only the clothes on their back. You can read more about what Project Night Night does and how you can help all year long!
You can contact a local church - yours or one of another faith- and see if there is a family in need who could use some food and/or toys for the holidays! We did this one year and provided toys for the whole family. It was nice to head out shopping with my daughter and choose toys specific for the children and adults in our adopted family.
This year my daughter's school is helping to alleviate the one in five American children who face food insecurity by sending home a backpack in the classrooms each week. Once a week, a student is asked to bring this backpack back on Friday filled with enough food to help feed one family. The food is then dropped off at our sister school to help a family who might otherwise go hungry. The program is called Blessings in a Backpack and is a great way to get children involved in giving back to their community.
These are just some ideas that you can do this winter and throughout the year.