Here are 12 Ways to Give Back as a Family (We’ve Included a Free Printable for Inspiration!)
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Let’s throw around kindness like it’s confetti!
Looking for ways to give back or contribute positively to your community? Here are some fun and inspiring random acts of kindness ideas to complete as a family to focus attention on helping others and paying it forward, while also getting the kids involved.
The good news is that it can be something as simple as leaving a coupon next to the in-store item to surprise a fellow shopper, or as big as organizing a food drive. The options are endless when completing acts of kindness!
We all know giving is so much more rewarding than receiving, so use these ideas as a helpful tool to start thinking about how your family can come together and do small projects of service to model selflessness and compassion.
I’ve made a free printable checklist sharing 12 ways to give back for inspiration, and then also a blank one if you’d like to brainstorm and come up with your own ideas. It’s worth noting that your ideas can be larger projects or simple acts of kindness that don’t have to cost a thing!
Hip Tip: You can go at your own pace as you see fit, or set a goal date to accomplish your list. This can be as casual and as budget friendly as you’d like!
Here’s 12 ideas below of ways to give back. Use them to spark a conversation about kindness and how we can help others during the holidays as well as throughout the year!
1.) Purge your home of unused household items and clothing.
This is something the whole family can easily participate in, and also a great way to make room and de-clutter. Have the kids go through their toy box for unused toys, and also clothes that no longer fit to donate. It’s amazing how much stuff can accumulate throughout the year that goes unused. Donate to your favorite charity, or host a garage sale and donate proceeds.
2.) Make and deliver a homemade meal for someone in need.
Something as simple as a comforting meal can make someone feel especially loved. This can be for a sick friend, someone who just had a baby, someone who just lost a loved one, or perhaps an elderly friend or neighbor. Even just the thought is often appreciated.
Hip Tip: Check out all of our delicious and easy dinner ideas for helpful recipes to consider.
3.) Make a difference for an animal.
Sometimes those in need have four legs and a furry tail! You can help cats and dogs in many ways including through fostering, adopting, or even volunteering for a couple hours at an animal shelter. Maybe consider collecting blankets, food, and dog toys for your local shelter.
Hip Tip: We often post awesome pet-related deals you could consider purchasing and donating.
4.) Lead a book drive.
Make sure everyone has books to read! Encourage literacy by collecting new and gently used books from your home, friends, neighbors, and family and then donate to your local school, library, or women’s shelter.
5.) DIY “blessing bags” for those who are homeless.
Consider collecting small personal care items and compiling “Blessing Bags” using freezer bags for those affected by homelessness. Your family can help compile them by including items like travel sized shampoo, a toothbrush, soap, granola bars, and clean socks. Check out our DIY “Blessing Bags” suggestions for more details!
6.) Host a neighborhood block party or play date!
Bring back the days when everyone on the street knew each other and looked out for one another! Sometimes simply including everyone and making a connection can be a way to give back. Start with your own street. Maybe invite the new neighbors you haven’t welcomed yet, or the child that may not get invited to all the parties.
7.) Visit a nursing home to connect with the elderly.
During the holidays it’s fun to take the kids caroling or deliver cards, and means so much to someone in a nursing home and sure brightens their day. I’d contact your local facility to inquire about specific holidays or days they welcome visitors.
On a personal note, I used to take my kids when they were little in costume trick-or-treating with my moms group and it was always so fun and rewarding.
8.) Adopt a family in need.
Maybe there’s a family you know that is struggling, or a single parent who could use a little extra help for a month. Volunteer to babysit, do a chore, walk their dog, or even mow their lawn. If you’re budget allows, consider surprising a family or person in need with some basic groceries or a gift card to the grocery store.
9.) Plan ways of surprise giving!
Surprise random strangers unexpectedly! Grab $5, $10, or smaller denomination bills and leave them in a dressing room, vending machine, or gas tank to surprise someone and make their day! Maybe pay for the person behind you in the fast food or coffee drive-through line. It’s a fun idea to pay it forward!
Don’t have a budget for this? Surprise someone with a nice compliment, or a friendly smile – as those are FREE. 🙂
10.) Lift a soldier’s spirits, and say THANK YOU.
A great way to have kids practice writing is through thank you letters! Write letters of gratitude or put together a simple care package to send to the troops. Check out websites like OperationGratitude.com or TheUSO.org for information on how to donate.
11.) Run or walk for a cause.
Pictured above: Hip2Save sidekick, Jami and family, participating in a Relay for Life run!
Get the family moving together to benefit a cause! Participate in a local run or walk that raises money for a cause that’s important to you and your family. Participants usually pay a registration fee and collect pledges, and in return enjoy a fun run or walk outdoors.
12.) Organize a food drive.
Food banks can use support throughout the year, and especially for the holidays. Pick a local homeless shelter or food bank and collect nonperishable food items, toiletries, diapers, ect. Get the kids involved by having them help collect, count, sort donations, make posters, and even deliver the donations to the local food pantry.