November: A Month of Giving Back and Thankfulness
With Thanksgiving coming up, it is a natural time to begin talking to kids about being thankful for what they have and think about ways to give back to your community.
My roommate from college, Liz does an act of kindness or service with her three kids ages 3, 6 and 8 on each day of November. She kindly shared her ideas (many featured below) with us. She says “We usually do more at school items- like thanking more support staff, sitting with someone new at lunch. We also normally buy Humane Society items and deliver them and take a tour but it’s closed this year so we are doing a donation of items from their amazon wish list. We also normally volunteer to pack food. Each item on our list is a great opportunity to talk to kids about issues- safety, poverty, hunger, environmental issues, lonely elderly, homelessness. I like to remind them of their privilege and that it’s about giving, not receiving.”
- Talk about what it means to be thankful and what it means in your own family. Here are some ways we talk about thankfulness during November.
- Encourage them to think of things to add to your list together. This will give them ownership of the project and build their confidence and self-worth as they complete the tasks they thought of themselves.
- Go beyond monetary donations. Giving a portion of an allowance or earning money to donate is a great way to teach children about sharing but it also is about the effort and thought put into the task too.
- Talk about it after each activity. How did it make your child feel to give back? What did they learn through this activity?
Ideas to Get Your Kids Involved in a Month of Kindness & Giving
- Thank a support staff member at school (bus drive, lunchroom monitor and cook/specialist etc)
- Call a grandparent just because
- Thank first responders with a thank you note or small gift
- Collect small toys for Operation Christmas Child
- Write a letter to a vet
- Sort toys to donate
- Donate animal toys, food or bedding to a local animal shelter
- Tell someone they are doing a good job
- Go through outdoor clothing that has been outgrown to donate to Dress for Success Worcester or Abby’s House
- Sponsor a child through The CASA Project or donate to them through their Amazon Wishlist
- Use your voice: draw or create a poster to advocate for a cause or a choice
- Smile at everyone you see today
- Send a letter to a friend
- Perform an act of kindness to someone
- Shop the Worcester Food Pantry’s wishlist and bring the donation to the pantry together.
- Leave change for someone near a vending machine
- Leave supplies at the laundry mat
- Drop a treat off to a neighbor
- Pay someone a compliment
- Call Aunt or Uncle to say hi
- Make a thank you gift for a teacher
- Pay it forward – pay for a snack or coffee for someone
- Help pick up trash in your neighborhood or at a local park
- Donate to a charity of your choice
- Planting the Seed Toy Drive Donation
- Gather items from Veteran’s Inc Wishlist in Worcester and deliver them
- Send a note to isolated elderly at a nursing home
- Leave change at a vending machine for someone
- Donate to a bed for every child
- Send a letter to a friend
Need More Ideas?
Project Giving Kids has more specific opportunities for families in the area. As a nonprofit, Project Giving Kids’ core mission is to help teach empathy and social responsibility to young people. They do that by providing technology that connects kids, teens, and families to high-quality, age-appropriate volunteer activities with their network of nonprofit partners across the country. Check the link below to find opportunities that are right for your family.
What are some ways you and your family engage in acts of kindness? What did we miss on our list?