This holiday why not give your child a gift that can help others? It’s a great idea to teach your children to be compassionate to those less fortunate, and doing good often feels good. Here are some ideas for gifts for your kids that keep on giving:
Secret Sandy: Whether or not you live in the Northeast, you heard about the hurricane that hit the area Halloween weekend. Two women launched a charity service that allows you to give gifts to children whose families were affected by the storm. The affected children write to Secret Sandy, and you can register and receive those wishlists to make a donation. You can also donate unwanted wrapping supplies, toys, and gifts – so why not have your child pick a new toy he or she thinks someone else will enjoy more? (Gift exchange ends December 15, but the foundation will continue to accept money donations)
Broadway Cares: Do you and your kids enjoy going to musicals, or singing along to showtunes? Give your child a Show Logos Snow Globe to watch the snowfall over a pseudo-Times Square! A portion of the proceeds goes to support Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Also check out the ornaments for shows like The Lion King, Mary Poppins, and Wicked!
She’s the First: One of my favorite charities, She’s the First is an organization that fundraises to sponsor and send girls in developing countries to school, which can change their lives forever. This year buy your little girl a pack of three lip glosses from jane. cosmetics– 100% of the proceeds will go to She’s the First! There are also bracelets, t-shirts, and gift cards for dorm room décor that donate part of the proceeds to the organization.
Footwear for a Cause: Sometimes the best gifts are practical ones, something your child needs anyway. I always asked for clothes for the holidays, and I’m sure I’m not the only one! There are multiple organizations that donate one-for-one shoes, so buy a pair for your kid! ROOZT Roma Boots are durable rain boots that “Buy One, Give One” to a child living in poverty. And they come in kids’ sizes! Another, better known brand is Toms, which makes canvas shoes that have become a huge trend. Toms also donates a pair of shoes for every pair bought.Make a Wish: A great foundation to introduce to your child is the Make a Wish Foundation, which bucket-list grants wishes to terminally ill children. I remember first learning about the foundation in a Brownies meeting in first grade. A designer named Gorjana has created a leather bracelet with a gold star in honor of the foundation, and will donate 50 percent of the proceeds to Make a Wish.
Plant a Tree: We all appreciate the gift of clean air to breathe, so help plant more trees for a better future. At American Forests, every $1 donated plants another tree. Since 1990 American Forests have planted more than 40 million trees! (In fact, you can donate your SavingStar savings directly to American Forests when you request a payout from your account).
Serve Food: There are many ways to introduce your child to neighborhoods that are less fortunate than your own, and one of the best ways is through visiting a soup kitchen. Take your child to your local soup kitchen to help serve food this cold, holiday season to those who may not have a warm meal to eat. Even celebrities have jumped in to help: last year Bon Jovi opened his Soul Kitchen, a restaurant with no prices that asks customers to either donate to pay for their meal or volunteer work in the kitchen, in New Jersey.
Pledge Your Holiday: One of the biggest epidemics worldwide is a lack of clean drinking water to over 800 million people. Charity: water, is one of the leading organizations that works to provide water to as many people as possible through gifts, direct donations, and its “pledge your birthday” campaign. Although meant to donate for one’s birthday, why not introduce this to your child and see if they want to receive pledges instead of presents this holiday? If not, check out the organization’s store, where there are some great gifts like water bottles and decks of playing cards.Give the Gift of Reading: Literacy is the only way to make a better life for one’s self, and I’m sure your kids have been taught the value of reading. However, we all outgrow some books, so why not go through your home library with your child and choose some books to donate to kids worldwide to improve literacy through Better World Books – they’ll even pay for you to ship the books to them! You can also replace the books with new books for your kid, and Better World Books will donate a book for each one you buy.
Dental Care For A Cause: I’ve babysat many families over the years, but all the kids have had one thing in common: they hate brushing their teeth! Make bedtime fun by preordering this sleek toothbrush for your child. Made from bamboo, it is 100% biodegradable, and for each one sold another one will be given to one of the 80 million people in America who does not get proper dental care.
Do you have any suggestions for gifts that give?