As the leaves begin to change and the temperature starts dropping, it’s safe to say that the Fall season is officially underway. Halloween costumes fill the stores and kids are bringing home more crafts coated with the colors of the season than can fit of the refrigerator door. Plans of apple picking, pumpkin carving and corn-mazes fill our weekends.
However, for some families, this is not the case. Many families do not welcome the new season because they cannot afford heat or clothing to keep them warm. Some families find themselves struggling to put food on the table during Thanksgiving. Things like warmth and a full shelf of food are things that we often take for granted.
Plan some time with your family this season to give back to those less fortunate. Teaching your children the importance of supporting people in the community who have less is a lesson that will last a life-time. Leading by example is a great way to teach children empathy and engage them in community involvement and volunteering long-term.
Volunteering builds self-confidence in children. It shows them how a small action can make a big difference. By volunteering, children also create a strong connection with their community and develop networking skills that they can use when they are older. Most importantly, community involvement and volunteering shows children how easy it is to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Positivity can go a long way and is a great trait for children to inherit at a young age.
Volunteering as a family is the perfect way to spend the day together, create memories and make a difference. Local food pantries are always looking for help around this time of year. Start a food drive in your neighborhood and collect non-perishable food items to donate or spend the afternoon in directly in a pantry helping them sort food, put together bags or whatever else they need help with. To find a food pantry near you, visit www.feedingamerica.org or www.ampleharvest.org.
Another great idea to give back this fall is to donate clothes that are no longer being worn. Sit down with your son who just went through a growth spurt and go through his closet together. Pull out clothes and jackets that no longer fit him and explain to him that by donating these items, he will be helping a boy his age be warmer this year. Children feed off of enthusiasm. They should be proud of themselves so make sure that they know that you are proud of them as well.
The Salvation Army and Big Brothers Big Sisters are available locally for dropping off donations. If you’re in a time crunch of simply do not have time to drop off a donation, you can schedule a pick up by visiting their local websites.
You can also give back by visiting the Children’s Museum in Easton! The museum has teamed up with Teamsters Local 653 to participate in their “Sock It To Em” campaign. Between now and November 18th, when you visit the museum, please consider bringing new socks to drop in our donation box. Socks are the #1 clothing need for people experiencing homelessness and this need only increases as the colder seasons come along. When you participate in this campaign and donate socks, you are supporting the homeless members of our community by helping them stay warm this season. I’ve brought in my sock donation, have you?!
Teamsters Local 653 is a local union located in South Easton. They have been serving the surrounding communities and giving back since 1934. Their two big fundraisers this season is the “Sock It To Em” campaign and the “Toys for Troops” campaign. This year is their 9th annual “Toys for Troops” campaign. This fundraiser supports local Veterans and their families and around the holidays. For more information about Teamsters Local 653, to get involved or to donate, you can stop by their South Easton location at 4 Hampden Drive in South Easton Massachusetts or visit their website http://www.teamsterslocal653.org/index.cfm.
Other ways to give back with your family
- Volunteer or donate to a local animal shelter
- Rake leaves for elderly neighbors
- Raise money and participate in a walk or run
- Donate old toys
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen
- Make birdhouses to keep birds warm
- Visit a nursing home
- Write letters to troops overseas
Tips for success
- Be enthusiastic
- Find something that sparks their interest
- Emphasize the importance
- Be proud
- Be patient
- Keep children involved as much as possible
- Continue the conversation
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