Families can get involved in giving back this holiday season in many ways, involving all members - from your newborn to great grandma. Here's how:
* Support companies that give back. Families with infants and toddlers may not realize that the Bumbo products they purchase not only solve every day parenting challenges, but they also give back to children in need. In fact, a portion of proceeds from every Bumbo product purchased worldwide supports the underprivileged and special needs children in the company's hometown of Pretoria, South Africa. Since 2005, the company has donated more than $10 million back to the local community through the Bumbo Cares non-profit program, providing food, shelter and education for more than 1,200 South African children. Products that give back include the Bumbo Floor Seat and accessories - the perfect first seat for babies; the Booster Seat, Step Stool and Toilet Trainer. You can learn more about how Bumbo helps the children of Pretoria at www.BumboUSA.com/BumboCares.
* Organize a collection drive. Children love to help other children, and they can do that by participating in a drive. If there isn't a clothing or food drive already happening in your neighborhood, consider organizing one yourself. Find an organization in your community that helps children and ask what donations are needed. Advertise when you'll be holding the drive with letters or postcards to neighbors. On the day of the drive, help your children and their friends collect the donations, and then take everyone with you to deliver the donations to the organization. Take a photo of the drop off and submit it to the community paper to commemorate the work the youths put into the effort.
* Participate in a community kitchen, clean-up or build. These are activities everyone in the family can participate in. Contact your local government office to find out when the next community clean-up day is scheduled. If you have younger children, ask to be assigned to a park or quiet road. And if you have older children who are able to participate in a community kitchen or build project, consider donating your time there. It will be a project they can reflect upon years later - reminding them how they cared and contributed back this holiday season.
* Visit those who are home-bound during the holidays. Sometimes the best way a family can give back is by visiting those who aren't able to get out of the home very easily. Contact a local nursing home or your religious center to ask if your family can sing holiday carols, bring treats or just come over for a talk. All it takes is a bit of time, which often is a great way to give back.
As your family gets ready to celebrate the holidays this year, remember these tips of lending a hand, organizing a drive or supporting companies, like Bumbo, that give back. There are always opportunities where your entire family can pitch in to help the neighborhood, community, country and world.