It's no small thing to offer up what you don't need anymore. You may not need it, but someone else does and it only takes a moment to organize your items (LINK}.
Grab your kids to help you.
The benefits are huge. Huge for the children we help, huge for our own family and huge for the environment when useful things don’t reach the landfill.
To better focus your time, money and energy, I urge you to consider your own interests and passion [1LINK] before donating but either way, here are some ways to help the children in your area with things you don’t need, or things you acquire for the purpose of helping the children.
Donate supplies to schools and daycares
While most places don’t want a few remnant pieces of coloured paper or a container of glue that is only half full, schools and places that serve children may LOVE to receive them. Ask around for a private non-profit facility that serves children because they are often the most in need of your items.
Donate your recycling
It irks me to recycle something that can be used again. While it’s better to recycle than to throw items into the trash (our dumps are filling fast), find another use for recycled items that can still have a purpose.
Call your local schools and other places who offer crafting activities. Ask what they need. Often they will accept your clean egg cartons, clean tin cans (if you use a smooth edge can opener so there are no sharp edges). I just keep a box at the garage door and take it over when it's full [6LINK].
Donate to help parents get a job
Children benefit when their parents have the personal power and resources to offer what they need to be successful and enjoy life together. Bring gently used and new business apparel to a charity or adult school that helps people get jobs, or low-income families who are working hard or going to school to improve the quality of life for their family. Not all students are partying it up every weekend. Some have families and a big dream. Your donation reminds us all that we are in this together. They will appreciate your donation. Call around to local child care facilities and see if they have a closet for parents as well as children.
Donate gifts you receive
When our children were young and we had birthday parties in their honour, they always looked forward to opening presents! All of us enjoy the mystery of opening brightly coloured gifts and celebrating what’s inside, but the joy is quickly lost when our home becomes cluttered and our kids have too much stuff.
For years, instead of receiving gifts for themselves, our kids asked for gifts they would donate to our favourite Children’s Education facility (here's mine) or to the local animal shelter. It wasn’t a popular idea at first (even though they would still enjoy gifts from family), but after their first time bringing the items to the charity, they were hooked.
With this one act, our children became aware that they are already powerful, and that we can help at any time whether or not we are a millionaire.
Donate found money
If your state refunds the deposits on bottles, go for it. Help your own kids by assisting them start a business that collects bottles for spending money, (or mow lawns, bring soup to the neighbour, etc.) Help them set up their business to include donating part of their earnings to both help the earth and help a non-profit or a cause they care about. Our kids learn what we TEACH them, not what we hope for them. Ask them who they want to help and let them do it in their own way. Even the littlest things can make a big difference.
Donate party spoils
Nope, I don’t mean your leftover food. Have a party and ask everyone to bring an item to donate. There have been times when I've filled my car with donations that would not have otherwise been donated. When we come together miracles happen!
For reference, I will always remember one of the first years I volunteered at a local Back-To-School event where we clothed and provided school supplies for over 1,500 children. One of the children simply would not accept the 6 pair of underwear in the package.
He was so emotional about it that one of the volunteers began to ask him a few questions and it turns out that he was told that he was only allowed to have 2 pairs of underwear and since he had 2, he couldn’t have more. No doubt his single mom was doing her best and just couldn’t afford more. Diapers, underwear and socks rarely go on sale. They are a great thing to donate.
*TIP* If you plan ahead and make tax-deductible charitable contributions it can help you to reduce your taxable income. Search for more information about that and if you own your own business, keep an itemized list of what you donate with a receipt for tax purposes.
There are lists of ways we can make a positive difference in the lives of both our own children and the children of others when we work together to make the world a brighter place for all of us to enjoy.
We all have something to offer. Share your gifts with an open and thankful heart and more gifts will come to you. It’s just the way it is ;-)
- xo Dr. Brookh
Dr. Brookh Lyons helps mothers become confident and empowered women so they can raise children who can thrive in today's world. If you want the support you need click HERE and sign up on our waiting list because Femelle: Confident Mom Club is opening again soon or follow Dr. Brookh on Facebook.
Dr. Brookh lives in Green Bay, WI with her husband Dan, their two teenagers and fur-baby named Sophie. She has earned her doctorate, run a practice, homeschooled, published a magazine, and so far her children have survived (FLOURISHED).
"The future has yet to reveal itself so let's enjoy today. THIS moment. THIS life we have today." - Dr. Brookh Lyons