6 Ways to Give Back as a Family in Chicago

A guaranteed way to make you and your kids feel good inside while making awesome memories this holiday season is to give back as a family. In fact, we think you’ll discover that giving a little bit of your time can go a long way for those in need. Even though COVID-19 makes it harder to find causes you care about that need your help, there are opportunities out there.

We have some suggestions to help get you started.

Donate Toys to Kids in Need 

For the kids who always have toys on their mind, it’s important for them to give toys as well. Make it a family project by toy shopping and picking the perfect gift for someone in need to donate to Toys for Tots. Find a drop-off location near you.

Write a Love Note to a Homebound Senior

Elise Geiger at Meals on Wheels Chicago says 84% of seniors receiving meals say the only person they see all day is the person who delivers the meal. Make their day with a love note to go with the meal. The Love Notes Program is simple: create a card with a message such as “Thinking of You” or “Have a Happy Day” and send it to Meals On Wheels, 314 W. Superior St., Suite 300, Chicago.

Volunteer with The Honeycomb Project

The Honeycomb Project offers fun, socially distant volunteer programs perfect for local families, including bringing cheer to frontline workers, preparing meals for youth experiencing homelessness and environmental stewardship. For families who want to do good while staying home, it offers its Honeycomb at Home program meant to “uplift and mobilize kids,” featuring weekly lesson plans, a screen-free activity and ways to connect with the community.

Make DIY Toys for Shelter Pets

Volunteer programs at Anti-Cruelty Society have gone virtual, but there’s plenty of ways for families to help. The society is currently accepting DIY enrichment items for its pets. Visit its website to find tutorials for dog puzzle toys, cat wands and more.

Host a Virtual Food Drive

The Greater Chicago Food Depository has offered virtual food drives to give individuals a chance to feed the community. The drive is presented an online store where participants can choose the most-need food items by the non-profit. You can host your own virtual food drive and reach out to other family members and friends to help out.

Write Cards to Hospitalized Kids

Help lift the the spirits of children in hospitals, foster homes, schools and beyond through Cardz for Kidz. The program is still accepting homemade cards during the pandemic and check out a supply list to learn how you can get creative.

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This article also appeared in Chicago Parent’s holiday 2020 magazine


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