Kindness is the greatest gift any parent can teach their child(ren). One way to teach kindness is by volunteering. It is hard to find ways for kids volunteer because many places require background checks or work that is hard for a child to participate. Below are some ways in which your family can get involved.
In light of the holiday season, donating toys to children in need is a wonderful way for children to learn about charity. Toys for Tots is a Christmas project dedicated to making sure every child in our community receives a toy on Christmas morning. Last year alone over 18,000 children in the Pikes Peak Region were served. Explain to your child about the need then take them shopping so they can experience the joy of picking out a toy for someone less fortunate. If you know of a family in need you can request a toy a toy through their website. Toys can be donated at one of many donation sites. For a list of donation sites or to apply to become an official donation site, please visit https://colorado-springs-co.toysfortots.org/…/lco-sites/def….
There are many people in our city without homes. The homeless need food and goods all year round, not just during the holidays. Many food pantries and shelters collect non-perishable goods such as canned goods (tuna, salmon, chicken, vegetables, fruit), boxed /bagged goods (potatoes, rice, pasta, oatmeal, cream of wheat), and seasonings, hygiene products (razors, tooth brushes, toothpaste, pads, tampons, deodorant), blankets, clothing, and so much more. Food and monetary donations, while always accepted, are not the only ways to give back. You can volunteer your time by sorting/organizing, preparing, or serving food. For a comprehensive list of food assistance programs and how you and your family can get involved, please visit https://www.foodpantries.org/ci/co-colorado\_springs
Did you know that the children’s hospital accepts donations of books, toys, crafts, games, and electronics? They are always in need of items, especially for adolescents, toddlers, and infants. Due to risk of infection, the hospital only accepts new products in original packaging. They also cannot accept plants, latex balloons, and food products including candy. Your family can organize a drive to collect items in which to donate. The link provided gives a complete wishlist and most needed items for four Colorado Springs Children’s Hospital locations. https://www.childrenscolorado.org/…/donate-vo…/wish-list.pdf
Your family can also give back to your friends. A fun and exciting way is to host a slumber party or game night for your child’s friends. The kids get a night of fun while their parents receive a much needed date night. While it is not the same as volunteering/donating to local charities, it is still a great way to give back.
Another way that your family can give back to the community is by picking up trash. Take an hour or two on a weekend once a month, or more often depending on your family’s schedule to clean as a family. This is some quality time with the kids as well as a way to help keep our beautiful city clean. Please take precautions though. Wear gloves, weather appropriate attire, sunscreen, and keep your kids at a safe distance from you.
While there are many more ways for you and your family to give back to your community, these are some great ways to spend time as a family. Enjoy your time together.
Lead Preschool Teacher