Family Life: Give Back To The Community

December 7, 2009 by Amy Clark

For me, the holidays are a time to lend a hand to those who need it most. It’s important to our family to volunteer, especially at holiday time. Here are some organizations and local causes we support in our community.

Ronald McDonald House

My family has a personal connection to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, so I dedicate a lot of my time to families that come through its doors. From collecting soda pop tabs to raise money, to donating to their food pantry, to taking meals to new moms, I’ve really been able to positively affect the lives of others!

My favorite giving memory

In the same spirit as Oprah’s famous Big Give, I created a local Big Give program in my city. With Kenmore’s help, I was able to deliver more than $7500 in appliances to a local charity, along with much-needed toiletries and perishables, to Faith Mission.

Need ideas? Let’s give

Here are my favorite ways to give back during the holidays.
• Head to your fire station to thank firefighters and volunteers for what they do. Your kids can bring them yummy treats and handcrafted cards.
• Adopt a family. Deliver meals during the season and make a dent in their holiday wish list.
• Befriend those in nursing homes. Decorate their rooms, read to them or spend quality time making new friends.
• De-clutter your home, go through toys and clean out closets together as a family, then give unwanted items to a local shelter.
• Help serve a holiday meal or two at your community soup kitchen.
• Lend a hand ringing bells for the Salvation Army.
• Contact your local animal shelter and volunteer to walk and feed rescue pets.

Recruit the kids

Volunteering with my children has given me treasured memories. I’ll never forget the time my son and I brought a new Nintendo Wii to a local women’s shelter. Seeing his face light up as he presented the gift was incredible! Volunteering can build your child’s confidence, sense of community and compassion for others. Plus, it’s fun, so getting your children to give back may be easier than you think!

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark has been the driving force behind MomAdvice since 2004. In addition to running a successful community for women and running after her two kids, she has appeared on The Early Show, and in Parents magazine, Redbook, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, MSN Money and The New York Times.