We are entering what is typically known as “the season of giving.” Trouble is that it is often the season of consumerism instead. Kids become obsessed with what they want on their gift lists. Parents often get caught up with shopping for things instead of teaching their children that giving is more important than receiving.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if every family truly focused on giving this season? Think about the “everyday money” that could be used to give. This is the money that many of us have after we cover the essentials like rent, gas, food, etc. For those of us who are blessed to have this “everyday money,” let’s pay it forward by giving to others.
Capital One is helping promote this idea through their #EveryDayMoneyBoston campaign. As we head into the 2015 holiday season, Capital One is focusing attention on Bostonians who are using their Everyday Money to give back to their communities in meaningful ways.
Giving back is super important for me and my family. I aim to remind my children how important it is to give, especially around the holidays. They understand and appreciate how lucky we are to have what we need in life and that so many families do not.
Please consider these ideas to help give back to your community:
As my children prepare for new gifts to arrive from Santa and relatives, I ask that they make a basket of toys to give away to those in need. We donate each year to a local shelter helping women and their children free themselves from abusive relationships.
When we shop at the supermarket, I ask my kids to select items to put in the food pantry collection box. They have also participated in school collections and even helped deliver items to our local food pantry. Although out town seems rather affluent, they are humbled by the fact that there are still plenty of families in need.
This time of year we also “adopt” 1-2 children to help fulfill their gift wishes. When I was younger, my mother and I were on our own and we did not have much money. One of the most amazing gifts I ever received was an anonymous bag of toys left on our doorstep. It was as if Santa had come early just for me. I’ve shared this story with my kids to help them understand the joy it brings to needy children to know that someone cared enough to give them something special.
A few years back, we adopted a dog from a local shelter. She has brought us so much joy that we love to give back to our local animal shelters. We donate food, dog toys, leashes and more.
“Everyday money” does not necessarily have to be money you have on hand. It can be money that was spent in the past on clothing, and home goods, but can still be “paid” forward to help others. We try our best not to throw anything away that can be donated in some way.
Need more inspiration? Check out the Everyday Money Boston site from Capital One. Your fellow Bostonians have some great ideas too!
A great day to focus on being more charitable is Giving Tuesday. Started in 2012, Giving Tuesday is the day after Thanksgiving Weekend and Cyber Monday to help people focus on giving. Mark your calendars so you can participate.
How will you help others this holiday season? Leave a comment to help inspire others. Happy Holidays!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.