A Season of Giving: Spreading Holiday Cheer as a Family


October 30, 2018

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.


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


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:


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.

  • Make laundry detergent to support individuals and families facing a housing crisis and donate to Community Rebuilders.

  • 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.