Giving back this Christmas
We are officially into the countdown for Christmas, with the big day less only two weeks away away.
We are also in the season of Christmas lists that contain the whole Argos book, and everything Elijah has seen on TV adverts since the Summer.
It is also the time where many charities will begin to launch their Christmas appeals and I think it is very natural for us to want to help and give back.
I find that now is also the perfect time to have a sort out and donate any unwanted toys/ baby items to those who will benefit from them, as if we are honest we all have overflowing toy box at home don’t we?
But, where do you start and how can you introduce your little people to the idea of giving back at Christmas?
The People’s Picnic
Firstly, you can take part in the People’s Picnic sock appeal which Little Owls are proudly supporting this Christmas.
One thing I have always loved about Little Owls is how that are always willing to help support a local cause or charity and their ability to get the whole nursery and community involved too!
You can pick up a your pair of socks (kindly donated by Birds of Dereham) from your child’s nursery room and fill them with toothpaste, roll on deodorant, socks, gloves, sweets and other required items.
These will then be distributed to those in need who live on the street by the local organisation who see up to 90 people a night!
We are all feeling the chill as the temperature dips but imagine those on the street, and the difference a warm pair of socks or gloves will have.
It was last year that Elijah (then 3) began to notice those sitting on the street and asking why they were there when it was so cold.
It can be hard to explain this to three year old, and we decided that we would go to a nearby shop to buy thermal gloves, hats, wet wipes and some crisps/ drinks and Elijah then gave them too him.
Ever since then Elijah has always noticed someone who is living on the street and wants to help them.
To see the concern, and his brow furrow when he looks up at me is heart breaking but I am also incredibly proud he is caring enough to want to help.
When Little Owls announced that they were collecting filled socks for The People’s Picnic, we spoke to Elijah again at length who they were for, and why we were doing this. He began to suggest items he wanted to put in his socks and spent Sunday afternoon filling them with his Nan.
Each room has a basket for you to pop your filled socks in with, which the nursery will then take to the People’s Picnic.
Another way to help your little ones give back this year is to take part in a reverse advent calendar for the Trussell Trust foodbank.
Located in town you may not even know that there is a local foodbank tucked away and is finding itself busier than ever, with more people relying on it.
The idea of the reverse advent calendar is to pop an item of food into a box each day throughout Nov/ Dec and then donate it to the local foodbank.
I am sure the little ones will enjoy adding to the box each day and likely taking it back out again numerous times!
Cupboard staples, seasonal favourites such as biscuits and mince pies, tinned fruit, toiletries and even a few non food items such as small toys will go a long way to helping those in need this Christmas and throughout January.
Ways to give back locally
There are also some amazing nearby charities you can give back to, a local parenting website has complied a list of some of them around Norwich/ Norfolk which you can view here.
Being busy parents, although we have good intentions sometimes it can be hard to commit to trying to donate and take part in a charity appeal especially over Christmas. Little Owls understands this and has provided the perfect way to get involved with the children taking the socks home and bringing them back into nursery filled and ready to be dropped off by the nursery!
You can easily get wrapped up with spending, eating and drinking a bit too much at Christmas but now as we approach the end of the year is a great way to introduce giving back to your little people in hope that it can begin to be an annual tradition.
Vicki Cockerill is a Freelance Content Writer and NICU/CHD Mum to two boys, she authors The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum Blog, founded and runs The NICU Parent Partnership Organisation and co-hosts @KnackeredandNorwich Social Club.. You can contact her via her blog or social media;
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