Originally published on Savvy Auntie.
Is your niece interested in helping others out during the holidays? Do you want to make your nephew’s next winter birthday party a memorable event that brings positive change to another community? Apart from soup kitchens and the usual donation drives, here are a few unique ideas to help you motivate those little helpers to volunteer and spread joy around the neighborhood or at a non-profit organization this winter.
1. “Kitchen Table” Family Service Projects
These charitable projects are great to do as an entire family and can be completed in the comfort of Auntie’s home. Through the Big-Hearted Families website, have nieces and nephews pick their own project from the category list – Advocate: Peace, Justice + Social Action, Donate: Charitable Giving + Fun Fundraisers, Adopt Holiday Traditions, etc. Before the year is through, your nieces and nephews may learn about the power of speaking up, the role money plays in doing good, and the importance of celebrating and maintaining cultural traditions.
2. ECHOage Birthday Party
ECHOage is an online birthday party service that allows kids to get gifts and give to a charity of their choice. Start by personalizing your niece’s or nephew’s online party invitation, and then choose the gift and a charity partner. Half of the money contributed by the party guests will go toward the gift purchase, the other half to the charity. The organizations partnered with ECHOage include Because I am a Girl, Alliance for Children’s Rights, and Books for Africa.
3. Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Donations
Through the Samaritan’s Purse International Relief Operation Christmas Child program, nieces and nephews will be able to give simple shoebox gifts to millions of boys and girls in over 130 countries. Just follow the online directions for putting together the shoebox donations, or build a shoebox online. The site offers suggestions on appropriate items to include in homemade shoe boxes, such as small toys, school supplies, and accessories.