A goal for many parents is to raise children who care about and contribute to their community and look for ways to give back. Teaching the lessons of gratitude, abundance mindset, and sharing are important parts of this mission that we work on throughout their lives. Yet, this feels especially necessary during the end-of-year holiday season. Sometimes the best way to teach these values is to do something together with our hands.
The Doing Good Together project helps families do just this. Each month, DGT™ does the research to find family-friendly volunteer opportunities in the Twin Cities (St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, and surrounding suburbs). They compile these opportunities into monthly listings shared with email subscribers and on their website.
Through the DGT™ project, we found some great opportunities that match the varying needs of Twin Cities families. Hands-on volunteering or crafting can be a rewarding experience for both learning as well as spending family time together. You can bring your children along in the conversation and the work when you shop for food or other donations for giving this season. They can help package gifts or other donations. Setting aside coins or a percentage of allowance is a great way to participate in monetary donations and then deciding as a family where your donations should go makes it more personal for everyone.
Check out the list of specific ways your family can give back this year. Have more ideas? We would love to know more! Let’s spread the love and commitment to our community this holiday season!
Ways Your Family Can Give Back
Making Fleece Blankets for Kids with My Very Own Bed
My Very Own Bed’s mission is to provide new beds and linens to children of families that have recently secured stable housing. Each bed comes with bedding including a warm twin-sized blanket, which is often a fleece-tie blanket made by volunteers. This project can be completed from the comfort of your own home and is a great option for larger groups that would like to volunteer! You can find all the instructions here.
Date/Time: They ask all volunteers to schedule a drop-off time in advance. Please email email@example.com to schedule. Drop-off times are generally available Monday–Thursday 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Location: Donations accepted at the office at 34 13th Ave NE, Suite 106, Minneapolis.
Contact: For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help our Food Insecure Neighbors with Food Shelf Support
Millions of children and families living in America face hunger and food insecurity every day.
Thanksgiving means a time to give thanks and many families incorporate helping with holiday meals for their neighbors in need and those living with food insecurity. Demand at food pantries has continued to grow due to the pressures of inflation, supply chain issues, and decreased federal support. Your family can help our food-insecure neighbors with your time, food donations, or financial donations. Here are a few ways you and your family can help:
- Reach out to the local food shelf in your community to see what support/donations they need this year.
- Start a collection drive of specific items (canned goods, etc.) and deliver them to your food bank prior to the holidays.
- Make a donation to your local food bank or food shelves
Location: Click here to find the food shelf closest to you.
Adopt-A-Family for the Holidays with Avivo
Avivo’s Adopt-A-Family Holiday Gift Giving Program matches families who are currently participating in an Avivo program with community sponsors who anonymously provide gifts for the holidays. Join our Adopt-A-Family holiday gift program, with the goal of helping 500 families have a happy holiday season. From November 1–December 10, sponsors/donors can give in a few ways: donate gift cards, donate general gifts, or make a financial donation through the Avivo website.
Date/Time: Giving opportunities are open through December 10.
Location: Sponsors/donors can deliver donations to an Avivo location in early December. Donation drop-off locations will generally be based on where you live or by which Avivo location the family you sponsored is being served. Online giving is also available.
Contact: Click here for more information and FAQs about the Adopt-A-Family program. Or contact Brittany Biggers, email@example.com
Holiday Hope Sponsor a Family 2023 with Community Thread
Find another opportunity to help support local families this holiday season with Community Thread. Since 1970, Community Thread’s Holiday Hope Program has offered hope to individuals and families throughout the Stillwater Area School District and surrounding areas. With the help of volunteers and sponsors, Holiday Hope provides holiday meals and gifts to families and individuals in need during the holiday season. In 2022, this program helped 3,188 individuals (including 1,793 children) right here in our local communities, and we anticipate serving even more people in 2023. Find out more about the Holiday Hope Wishlist and how to sponsor a family.
Date/Time: Drop off donations Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Recipient registration is now open and ends on November 24th. and the matching process begins on November 1. Sponsors will purchase gift cards and/or gifts requested by the recipient and deliver them to Community Thread by December 5.
Location: Drop off at Community Thread, 2300 Orleans Street West, Stillwater.
Contact: HolidayHope@CommunityThreadMN.org or 651.439.7434.
Holiday Volunteer Opportunities with The Link
Fall Community Event Date/Time: Monday, November 14, 5–7 p.m.
Location: Grace Lutheran Church, 7800 150th St W, Apple Valley.
Contact: Yongyee Lo, Development & Volunteer Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make Room for the Hungry Giving Project
Financial donations are often one of the best ways to support the efforts of our local organizations providing resources to our communities. Yet, making those financial commitments can be challenging for children to see. DGT has a great idea for making the conversation around abundance a family activity.
They have a project called Make Room For Hungry. This project, which makes kids mindful of hunger, requires only a few moments each day. It lasts a month and can begin any day you choose. The calendar lists something to count around your home, such as how many pairs of shoes or how many spoons, and then invites you to place that number of coins into a dish. Not only does it make the collection of money visible to a child, but it also encourages conversation around abundance. You can find a link to the calendar to start this practice whenever it works for your family. While the focus is on hunger, the donation activity could be used for various ways your family prefers to give back.