Spread festive cheer by giving back to your local community.

It’s easy for a season founded upon gratitude and giving to devolve into a time of greed and selfishness – especially for kids. Fortunately, it’s easy to shift your kids’ focus away from themselves and toward others. By getting them involved in their local and broader community, your children are sure to have a greater appreciation for the true reason for this season.

Send holiday cards to soldiers. Many American soldiers are deployed abroad, meaning that they are missing their home and family over the holidays. Get your child to craft a homemade card with a thoughtful message to send to soldiers. It may seem like a simple gesture, but it makes all the difference to those reading them.

Pick out presents for children in need. Go shopping with your child and ask him or her to pick out a few gifts for other children. Then, package them up, and send them off to an organization that provides presents for children who have very little. Your children will have fun shopping for fun items and will feel even better knowing that another child got to unwrap something special.

Help the homeless. Most communities will have an overwhelming amount of homeless people with no food, shelter, or support. Take your kids to buy warm socks, toothbrushes and paste, first aid supplies, and granola bars, and distribute them to members of your local homeless population at a shelter.

At Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley, we understand the value of giving back to the community. All of our clubs are caroling at different local senior group homes. Our Morton Club will be volunteering at James Storehouse. The Anderson Club is writing letters to Santa to help support the Make a Wish Foundation. Get involved by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it off at Macy’s. You can also send one online. Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish® for every letter collected, up to $1 million!

From Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley, we hope that you and your children have fun giving back this season. For information on all of our clubs and programs, visit us here.