What do the holidays mean to you? To me, it is a time to see my family, all laughing and enjoying each others' company. It is about giving and loving and making children happy. This holiday season suddenly feels like a time to love on family even more and remember those who are crying and hearts that are breaking. The hustle and bustle of the season has come to a screeching halt for all of us, yet it is not a time for us to stop. It is a time for us to work harder to share our time, our love, our resources, whatever that may be. I have worked hard this year to begin a life of giving with my boy. I want to teach him that we are blessed and because of that, we will give back as much as we can. We have done several giving activities through the year and we will not stop as long as we know there are people, children, who need our help, whatever that may be.
Earlier this month, my boy and I had a really fun day together. We headed out of the house to a local event called Breakfast with Santa. He and I expected to go have breakfast together, maybe play some games, and then come home. I had grumbled to Hubby about the cost being $10 per person for a small breakfast and maybe a bounce in the bouncy house. Just after we picked up our breakfast from the line, we heard a number called from our raffle ticket that was handed to us as we walked in the door. I told my boy to go up front because he has won something. He didn't even know that he was entered to win a prize. Little did we know, my boy won a bicycle at Breakfast with Santa!! (told you we are blessed)
As excited as we were that he had won, and I mean he was over the moon, the most amazing thing happened the next day. As we were walking out the door, my boy saw his new bicycle sitting next to the (barely used) bicycle that we had bought him last Christmas. He looked up at me with those sweet baby eyes and said, "Mommy, I have two bikes now and I should give my other one to another boy". My heart melted. My hard work of teaching him how to give is truly working.
Boys and Girls Club of America
This holiday season Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and club Alumna, Lucille O'Neal (basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal's Mom) have teamed up to remind us what it truly means to give. Over the years, the focus of the holidays has shifted from appreciating great family time together to rushing about getting the best deals on gifts. The true spirit of the holidays, the act of giving, often gets lost. Not giving the hottest toy or the most updated gadget, but the act of giving your time and talents to help those in need.
Give the Gift of a Great Future
This year marks the 2nd Annual Give the Gift of a Great Future Holiday Campaign. BGCA has created the Give the Gift of a Great Future website with a focus on creative and easy activities to teach the value of giving back. No age proves too young for children to start learning the importance of giving back, especially during the holiday season. This Give the Gift of a Great Future website features resources to help parents with ideas on how to give back with their children, an interactive Giving Game and a Kids Give Back contest photo gallery where the public can vote on their favorite picture of BGCA kids serving their communities.
the giving game
I visited the giving game online and it was quick and easy. Just a couple of clicks, follow your heart, and you will help contribute $1 to a Boys and Girls Club…without spending a dime! Will you try it as well?
Kids Giving Back photo contest
Boys and Girls Clubs across the country have submitted photos and stories of how they are giving back. Check out how kids are giving back, read the stories and vote on the photos. The winning Club will receive a $2500 grant from Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Help support your favorite by voting!
10 Ways your Kids can Give Back
Finally, BGCA has created a list to help parents find ways to teach our kids to give back. Find what works for you and your kids and let's make this holiday season – and 2013 – a time of giving!
How do you teach your kids to give back?!!
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys and Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.