With the holidays approaching, children and families are eagerly awaiting celebrations, gifts, and time spent together. Heart of West Michigan United Way’s annual Holiday Giving & Volunteering Guide makes it easy for anyone to find ways to give back locally.
PARTICIPATE IN A COMMUNITY GIVING PROGRAM
Kent County has many opportunities for families to help brighten the holidays for neighbors in our community. Families can go shopping together to experience the joy of picking out items
Adopt-A-Family with Heart of West Michigan United Way
Sponsor a Foster Family for Christmas with Bethany Christian Services
Support the Heartside Christmas Store through Degage Ministries
Contribute to Camp Casey’s Horsey House Calls
Provide toys to young patients at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital through Bottomless Toy Chest
Donate mason jars so Revive & Thrive Project can deliver hearty soups to local families facing a health crisis
Volunteering gives families the chance to spend time together making a positive impact on the community. It can be an unforgettable experience and one that promotes lifelong service and giving.
Nonprofit needs this holiday season include:
Families Helping Families at Ronald McDonald House
Cookie Making at Ronald McDonald House
Santa’s Helpers at Family Promise
Be a Habitat for Humanity Winter Warrior (ages 16+)
Crafts add a personal touch to gifts and some items your family can DIY at home can fill a community need. We have created toolkits with instructions that make it easy to do just that.
Create fleece hats and blankets
Put old t-shirts to good use and make dog toys for pups staying in a local shelter
The season can provide many opportunities for lessons in generosity for children of all ages. Some questions parents can ask children while giving back.
How does it feel to pick out a gift for someone you don’t know?
What do you think it feels like to receive a gift from someone you’ve never met?
Who is someone outside of our family who has helped you?
Why is it important to think about the needs of others?
Remember, the Volunteer Center at Heart of West Michigan United Way is here all year to help families connect to opportunities to give their time to a local cause.