We’re continuing our Make a Difference series today with a compilation post from our writers on easy ways to make a difference with the help of our kids! Here are five easy tips:

  1. Volunteer at a local shelter. We have done this a few times with our kids, and each time was a good experience. We’ve served meals, handed out Easter blessing baskets, and helped kids shop for Christmas presents for their family members at a local homeless shelter. Each time my children have surprised me by their sensitivity, willingness to help, and ability to love others who are different than them. This has created teachable moments that needed no words and lingering conversations for weeks beyond the event where homelessness, food shortages, housing and sharing what we have were all discussed. Volunteering with your kids is one of the best ways I’ve found to teach my children gratitude and show them they can make a difference in the world around them! – Kendra from The Ruth Experience

  2. Turn celebrations into giving opportunities. This year, when my oldest turned 5, we made several “Birthday in a Box” gifts to send to those in need. We packed up cake mixes, frosting, candles, and small gifts, and packaged them in boxes to send to four little girls in a community in which 80 percent of the residents live below the poverty level. As a family, it was a good way to turn the focus from what our child was getting and instead to what she was giving. Another great birthday idea is to donate your birthday to charity via an organization like charity:water. — Kristin from The Ruth Experience

  3. Honor those who have passed on by giving to those in need. As a family, we have said goodbye to many loved ones in the past few years. This Christmas, we wanted to honor those who no longer are able to be with us and receive gifts or give them, and decided we would let each of our kids give a gift to Samaritan’s Purse of their own choosing. It ended up being a really fun way for the kids to give. Our four-year-old chose to feed a hungry baby for one week in honor of our friend Erika, who died of leukemia and whose heart was so much for her children. After the holidays, Erika’s mom came up to me at the grocery store and told me how much that meant to her. What a gift that just keeps on giving! Not only did the gifts help those in need and teach my kids the joy of giving, it ministered to those receiving the “gifts of honor” cards as well. This is one that will become a tradition for our family. — Ginger Bailey

  4. Let your kids see your sacrifice given joyfully. Just this week, my son and daughter spent some time with me at the warehouse we manage for missions. They often spend time there and help out as they are able. When we dropped off his sister at gymnastics this week, my son was excited about his 40-minute date with mom. When I asked him where he would like to go, his response really surprised me. He said, “I want to go to the warehouse.” I asked him why he wanted to return there, since we had just left, and he told me it was “because it helps people and I really like helping people.” When children see your heart in the giving, they will grow in their desire to experience that joy as well! — Ginger Bailey

  5. Deliver a meal to someone in need. Let your children help you make and deliver a meal to those who have just had a new baby, lost a loved one, or someone else of their choosing. This type of everyday giving will mark your child’s heart for simple sacrifice with joy. — Ginger Bailey