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Best Holiday Tradition: Create Family Time with a “Give Back" Day

Teach your family the true meaning of Christmas by planning a day of paying it forward. Stay in and create feel-good gifts to give away, or find opportunities to volunteer outside your own four walls. There’s something in it for you, too: feel-good warm and fuzzies that can’t be bought, presented by our friends at Folgers®.

‘Tis Better to Give

  • Gather to make “give back” bags. For the often-overlooked and overworked people in your everyday life—that friendly gas station attendant, the grocery bagger who knows you by name, the bus driver who greets you with a smile—decorate paper gift bags with pretty washi tape made to look like Christmas trees or snowflakes. Or use craft supplies to make holiday characters like reindeers and elves. Fill with whatever goodies you wish: Folgers® Instant Single Serve Coffee, bagged snacks, hand warmers and thank-you notes and gift cards. Pick a day to pass them out or, better yet, spend an hour on Christmas Day delivering to the souls who have to work.
  • Make holiday “survival jar” kits for your favorite first responders. Pack glass mason jars or small clear acrylic pails (available at most craft stores) with Folgers® Coffeehouse Blend K-Cup® Pods, hot chocolate, tissues, candy and homemade cookies. Decorate with flannel, ribbon and pretty gift tags before delivering them to your local fire station, police department or hospital emergency room.
  • Share count-your-blessings bags. Remind the homeless or those residing in nursing homes over the holidays that they are not forgotten. Pack and deliver plastic zipper bags with travel-sized toiletries and other gifts like toothpaste, mouthwash, socks, lip balm, lotion, cash, crossword puzzles, gloves and words of love and encouragement.

Charitable Ideas by Age

Ages 5-8

  • Help make and deliver cookies and other food gifts to fire and police stations.
  • Gather up old sports items, clothing and toys and donate to a nonprofit that can get them into the hands of those in need.
  • Get out the art supplies and decorate a food collection bin for your kitchen. When shopping, little ones can pick a nonperishable to put into the box when they get home, then go with Mom or Dad to deliver it to the local food pantry when the box is full.

Ages 9-12

  • Host a toy collection party for those in need (with your parents’ help).
  • Brighten the day of a child who is coping with a serious illness by making care bags to be given out at your local children’s hospital.
  • Help your local humane society by volunteering to walk the dogs.

Ages 13-18

  • Sort, inspect or repackage donated food at your local Feeding America® Food Bank. Food Banks greatly rely upon the energy and commitment of their local community to help fight hunger.
  • Provide tutoring assistance at your local Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Be a positive role model by helping make homework time less stressful and more productive.
  • Volunteer to collect dog food and cat food for your local Meals on Wheels – aniMeals on Wheels or Wheels for Wags programs. Because of limited funds, a growing number of seniors share their meals with their pets. A pet can provide much-needed companionship and help to reduce the isolation and loneliness that many people experience.

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