This post is sponsored by Amazon, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

This time of year it can become so easy to get wrapped up in the holiday chaos. While we all have mile long to-do lists and holiday shopping that needs to be done, it’s so important to reflect on how absolutely fortunate most of us are. Those simple things like having a safe home, warm food on the table and clothes to wear are often taken for granted and it’s important to teach our children to not only be grateful, but to also consider those that are in need.

We always make a point to teach our children the magic of passing goodwill forward and helping others. The best way of teaching children the importance of giving, and kindness, is to put it in action. We try to find everyday occasions in which we can demonstrate kindness and compassion to our kids, whether it means we make soup for a sick family member, or they see us donate money during the holidays. Your children look up to you as their prime example and the best way we can teach them kindness, empathy and the importance of helping others is to model it ourselves.

I’m sharing a few of my favorite ways to give back (and ones that we love to do as a family) below! Some are as simple as a click of a button while others are more hands-on.

SIMPLE WAYS TO GIVE BACK:

Amazon has a plethora of ways that you can easily give back! AmazonSmile is one of my favorite ways to consistently give back to charities and organizations that I love throughout the year. AmazonSmile allows you to support your favorite charitable organization by donating a portion of the purchase price of eligible products on Amazon to a charity of your choice. I’ve been using AmazonSmile for years (I give back to Fenton Area Public Schools Education Foundation, our local school district) and it’s amazing how quickly it adds up. I’m always shopping on Amazon anyway, so it’s a no brainer, and takes little effort to give back on a regular basis. To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. I have a bookmark set in my browser so that I can easily click, shop and have proceeds donated!

Another favorite and simple Amazon option is AmazonSmile Charity Lists. With AmazonSmile Charity Lists, you can browse by cause or search for your favorite organization’s Charity List where you can purchase items to have donated and delivered directly to the charity at their designated address. I’ve had friends that have set up lists to support local foster care children that allowed you to pick what toys and items you wanted to purchase and have donated. It was incredibly simple to use and made donating easy and quick.

To switch it up this year, I’ve asked our kids who or what they want to help and donate to. We’ve picked out organizations together and they loved being able to search through the AmazonSmile Charity Lists and pick which products to buy and donate. It’s a fun way to allow them to help with the decision and learn the value of giving to those who are less fortunate.

You can even donate with Alexa! Just say, “Alexa, I want to make a donation” to any Alexa enabled device and you can donate to a registered charity of your choice! Pretty awesome, right?!

Keep Cash and Coin On You

I don’t usually keep much cash on me, but this time of year I try to keep extra on hand so that we can readily donate to causes when out and about. My kids absolutely love taking change and bills to put into the “red kettle” or other donation collectors.

Make a Care Kit Together

Take an afternoon and make care kits together as a family. Care Kits are great to keep in your car to donate to the homeless. They typically include: hygiene basics (toothbrush, toothpaste, wipes, tampons/maxi pads, nail clippers, bandaids, chapstick, etc.), socks, non-perishable foods (granola bars, water, easy open tuna cans, crackers), fast food gift certificates and a note of encouragement in a waterproof ziplock bag.

Give The Gift That Gives Back

Instead of buying those hard to shop for people something random, consider giving them an Amazon gift card to use to purchase something from AmazonSmile Charity Lists for their favorite charity, or donate in their honor.

Donate To A Food Bank

Head to your local grocery store and stock a cart with essentials to help families in need. Check to see what foods your local food pantry needs most, grab the kids and help replenish their shelves. Our Family’s Favorite Charities:

Marine Toys For Tots Foundation
Play Like A Girl
Reading is Fundamental 
The Nature Conservancy

Spread cheer and smiles this holiday and remember to help those in need if you’re fortunate enough to do so!

Don’t forget to let me know how you’re giving back this year with #DeliveringSmiles!

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