It is getting to be that time of year again when the boxes are out to donate food or toys for less fortunate people. Today while picking up a few groceries for ourselves we also picked up a handful of shelf stable items for The Man to take to his work donation box. K and I also picked up a donation list when we walked into one of the stores and decided to pick up a few of the items for their donation box as well. It isn't much, but I figure if everybody just dug the change out of their car and donated whatever they could buy with it then the boxes would fill quite quickly.
I also took the opportunity to teach K that giving to others was a good thing to do. I explained that certain items that went into our cart were for ourselves and then certain items were for daddy to take to the work donation box and certain items were to drop off with the lady by the big box who gave us a piece of paper. When we checked out I put all of those items in a bag and had him hand them to the lady as we walked out. I am not sure if he totally understands at the age of three but it is definitely not too early to start trying to teach compassion and giving.
We don't have a lot of extras, but I feel it is important to give if I can because at one time or another we all hit rough spots. I have been there and had help. I am glad that I had that help at the time and feel like if I can help even in the slightest way, I should try. I am not perfect, nor would I recommend giving to the point it makes your own life harder, but I think helping out others is important. It also makes you feel pretty darn good that you could be a part of the good that is left in the world.
There are many ways to donate especially at this time of year. The local food pantries are always in need of donations. Most accept money as well as food. The McDonald's has coin boxes to drop your change in to help out families who need to use the Ronald McDonald House. Stores will start having boxes for food or toys to help over the holidays. Usually right before school starts, places will take donations of school supplies. Charity shops like Goodwill or The Salvation Army take donations and use the proceeds of the sales to help out people in need. Not all donations must me monetary either, time is just as valuable. Animal shelters generally have volunteers to help train and walk animals so they can be re homed. Soup kitchens have volunteers to serve up meals to the people who come to eat a nice meal.
Currently we donate food, toys, or clothes the most, but as my children age I hope to find more opportunities to teach them about donating. It makes me feel good for being able to help out and also makes me stop and be thankful for the wonderful things that we do have in our life even if we don't have the best or newest.