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Sure, the holidays are about celebrating with loved ones, good food and making memories. But they’re also about giving back, and there’s no better time to teach your children the importance of good deeds than this Christmas.

Here’s how…

Participate in a toy drive
Your children may wake up to brand-new toys under the tree on December 25, but there are plenty of kids who won’t be so lucky this Christmas. Thankfully, there are a number of local organisations commited to making Christmas morning a little bit brighter for families all over the country. Check out these toy drives and get your kids involved, having them pick out a special toy (or a few) to give to a child in need.

  • Friends with Dignity are collecting unwrapped presents for children and pamper items for parents, and have set up drop-off locations across Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Click here to find your nearest one.
  • The Queensland Government has coordinated the Kids in Care Christmas Gift Donation Drive, encouraging people to donate a Christmas gift for children in care. Donations are being accepted until December 6, and you can find out more right here.
  • The Smith Family do incredible work for children in need, and their Book & Toy Appeal is no exception. You can donate your choice of gift, shop their online catalogue, host a book and toy collection drive or volunteer your time by helping out. Head here for more info.

Pay it forward
While shiny new toys and special books will make a child’s Christmas really special, it’s also valuable to think beyond the “things” and consider how you could make a difference for a family facing economic hardship. In the spirit of the giving season, why not see if you can put some additional money toward another family’s electricity bill when you phone up to pay your own? Or, in these last few weeks of school, perhaps you could drop off some extra cash to your school tuckshop so that staff can feed the child whose family can’t afford to buy lunch? When you step back and consider all of the ways the people around you could be struggling, the possibilities to make a difference are endless.

Donate your unwanted items
You’re sure to receive a lot of new stuff this Christmas, which makes it a great time to go through your old stuff and find out what could be rehomed, reused or recycled. Did you know that major clothing brands like H&M and Zara offer garment recycling programs, where you can drop-off your old clothes (from any brand, in any condition) and receive a store discount? And, if you’re looking for a more targeted way to give your unwanted items to a good cause, be sure to check out what community groups and fundraisers have asked for on Givit.

Volunteer
If you don’t quite have the money or objects to spare this Christmas, why not give the gift of your time? There are a number of ways you and your family can volunteer these holidays, from helping out with animal rescue and donation collection during the bushfires to volunteering at your local shelter or soup kitchen. If in doubt, check out the state government’s volunteering resource – there is no shortage of ways you can chip in and help out.

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haven  

haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.