Giving Thanks by Giving Back

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I want to express my gratitude to the various families that have sent me a personal email after my last post, The Children Give Me The Greatest Hope–your thoughtful feedback is appreciated.  One parent had shared with me, that her family finds comfort in doing service work. This is a beautiful reminder of how we can continue to model for our children, what it looks like to offer support to others.   When our children get involved and give back in concrete ways, they are developing empathy, compassion, and generosity of spirit.

You may already have a few causes that are near and dear to your family and have found ways to get involved and give back.

If you’re looking for ideas, here are a few that might be a good fit for your family (you can invite friends and/or relatives to get involved too):

  • Assemble care packages to distribute to those you come across, who might be homeless and/or living in shelters.  Your child can help assemble a gallon-sized ziplock bag with various items such as water bottles, cereal bars, packets of tissues, toothbrush/paste, socks, and even a personalized note and/or drawing from your child.
  • Assemble care packages for Refugee families and/or seek out what concrete supports these families may need (some local organizations: Refugee One, World Relief)
  • Assemble care packages for victims of domestic violence and/or seek out what concrete supports these families may need (some local organizations: Be Alright, Apna Ghar)
  • Make artwork, assemble flower bouquets, and/or take board games over to a nursing home and engage with the residents.
  • Decorate placemats for Meals on Wheels
  • Have your child gather their gently used toys, books, and/or clothing and donate them to a local charity (see here for organizations which accept such donations: Chaos to Order)
  • Put on gloves and pick up trash at a local park
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter (such as PAWS or Anti-Cruelty society and check to see if your child would be allowed to help feed, play with, and/or brush the animals)

Also, below are a few organizations which offer family-friendly service opportunities.

NNM Cares (look for info in the This Week or reach out to parent volunteer/organizer, Sylvia ( for more info)

Honeycomb Project

Chicago Cares

Cradles to Crayons 

Volunteer Match (use this site’s filters to search for a good fit for your family, in your area)

If you have other ideas and/or organizations you would like to share, please email me at and I’ll add them here!  Thank you!

Wishing you and your families a peaceful Thanksgiving holiday.

Update: An NNM parent shared this thoughtful blog post, which highlights Acts of Kindness Around Food

Posted in 0-6 - Reena Morgan