5 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season 2017
We want to teach Winter that Kindness is infinite and oh so important. A few weeks ago, Winter and I had the opportunity to participate in a campaign called the #DoGoodWeek. We bought four dozen roses and gave them out to strangers to people walking in the park, coming out of a nursing home and at a local school. At first, WInter was so shy and wanted me to hold her while we passed out the photos, but within 10 minutes of being at our first location, the park, she was so excited and willing to hand them out. She would say, "here" or "more" while smiling and handing them out to people. I found myself stepping back a bit and just watching her interact. The joy I felt that day was indescribable, and I want to keep the momentum going and do some more selfless acts for others.
Below is a list of 5 ideas on how to give back this holiday season:
1. Collect Diapers For Your Local Diaper Bank: I was blown away to find out that 1 in 3 American families report the need for diapers and that no state or federal child safety-net program allocates dollars specifically for the purchase of diapers. (source). I found this great website called the National Diaper Bank Network that's full mission is to meet the basic needs of young children by providing them with diapers. You simply go to their site, type in your zip code and they tell you where you can donate diapers in your city.
2. Run for a Cause: If you want a good way to burn off the holiday calories, think about joining a 5k race that has a charitable component. To see what races are going on in your city, click here.
3. Adopt a "Grandriend": This idea is the cutest. My grandparents often say how lonely it can be getting older. I think this is a great way to make sure that our elderly population feels the love this holiday season as many of them don't always have relatives to spend the holidays with. Check out your local senior center to see if they can help match your family to a grandfriend.
4. Engage in Random Acts of Kindness for the Month of December: There are so many little things you and your family can do to brighten someone's day. I love this random acts of kindness calendar that outline some pretty wonderful ideas. Check out this calendar and this one (specifically for kids)!
5. Help a Local Family: Unfortunately, the holidays aren't always the most joyful for some people. I thank the lucky stars for the health of my family. I think one of the best ways you can give back this year is to find a local family to help support. For me, that family is the Wanekas, friends of one of my closes friends, Sarah, at Ladybird Poppy.
Piper Waneka is 3-years-old and her world has changed forever. On June 12, 2017, she was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an inoperable and incurable, tumor in her brainstem. DIPG is a rare and aggressive cancer that occurs only in children. It robs the child who sufferers of their abilities to walk, talk, smile, and control all parts of their bodies before it prevents them from eating, drinking, and breathing.
DIPG has always been and continues to be, the most deadly form of cancer ever discovered, affecting only 300 children per year. Children diagnosed live a median of nine months after diagnosis and only 1% of research is funded. This may be the last holiday spent with this precious child. She's a warrior, fighter and continues to bring laughter and joy to her family every day. This family pulls at my heartstrings on the deepest level.
Photography by Brittany Renee