Every November, three generations put on silly holiday-themed hats and assign grandkids to carts. Armed with a list of needed items from the local food bank we excitedly invade the local grocery store, ready to spend the money we've pooled throughout the year. We have quite a few households in the extended family (yep, sometimes 43 people around the table) and it always feels great to walk in with a few hundred dollars available to collect non-perishable food items for our neighbors in need.
See "Pile o'holiday cash" on how easy it is to save for the holidays.
We take this opportunity to involve our kids and share the importance of giving back to others. We don't expect the youngest of the wolf pack to understand but over the years we've been able to have great conversations with the older children about why it's important to give back and how fortunate we are to be in a position to do so.
Admittedly, the donation drop-off experience is probably the most fun part for the kids. We roll in with a caravan of cars filled with grocery items and food bank volunteers encourage everyone to get in on the action of weighing the goods. This also gives the kids an opportunity to ask questions and learn more as their curiosity builds on where all the food and grocery items go.
It may seem like a drop in the bucket when it comes to giving back to community and bridging the poverty gap, but we hope that each year our contribution can help some families. We also realize that giving is important throughout the entire year, so we're brainstorming some year-round charitable giving options. There are a ton to choose from so if you have any suggestions, we'd love to hear them.