Teaching Children to Give During the Holidays

It’s that time of the year again, a time when stores are filled with shoppers prepping for various holiday festivities. The holidays are typically a time when children are used to receiving gifts from friends and loved ones. What tends to slip our minds during this time of the year is the importance of teaching children to give back as they receive.

Encouraging your children to volunteer and give back helps foster a sense of philanthropy and generosity at a young age. Combining efforts as a family to help others means you are making a difference! Volunteering as a family is a special experience that gives your young ones the opportunity to think beyond themselves. If your child is old enough to have developed interests, it can also be a good idea to involve them in the decision-making process of what organizations and activities the family chooses to spend time doing. This allows your child to develop a deeper connection to what they are doing and makes them feel appreciated.

On November 21st, UWATX celebrated National Family Volunteer Day by hosting our own Family Volunteer Day event. Forty-nine people (adults, children and teens) came together to decorate ornaments, drop off books for a book drive and write holiday cards to local teachers.


We spoke to Crystal Cotti, UWATX Campaign Co-Chair, who attended the event with her two daughters:

What made you sign your group up to volunteer today?

“I’m always looking for ways to teach my girls the holidays are about giving, not getting.”

What was your favorite part of today?

“There’s nothing better than being with family while helping your community.”


Another volunteer, Charlsie Johnson (CJ) brought a group of ten, including six teenagers.

What made you sign your group up to volunteer today?

“We wanted to expose our young leaders to a variety of ways to give back and share. The young people were so excited to be part of something that would benefit the community. That is a major part of leadership.”

What was your favorite part of today?

“Seeing our teenagers getting into creating the ornaments and crafts. Their smiles were amazing.”


This article written by PBS highlights some creative tips on how to get the whole family volunteering:

Find Fun Activities – Find ways to volunteer back that connect with your child’s interests. For example, if your child enjoys being around animals, use that as a way to get them excited to give back. It could be as simple as offering to walk your neighbor’s dog or helping out at a local volunteer shelter.

Make Volunteering a Part of Your Family’s Schedule – Life can be hectic – make volunteering a part of your family’s routine so it becomes a priority.

Create Your Own Opportunity – Due to age restrictions, it can sometimes be complicated finding opportunities for your small ones. Some options that children of younger ages can participate in include walk-a-thons, fundraising, lemonade stands and trick-or-treating with the famous Unicef boxes.

Invite Your Family and Friends – The more the merrier! Consider talking to your family and friends and asking to join you in your volunteering activities. Not only is this a great way to bond with loved ones, but it shows your child how important giving is to the entire family.


Looking for a way to spend quality-time with your family while making a difference in the community this holiday season? Visit and check out current volunteer opportunities.