Volunteering and All That Stuff(ing) Many families are likely feeling out of sorts with their schedules and emotions right now, at a time when they are typically celebrating fall and looking forward to the holiday season. Expressing gratitude is always in style (and it does wonders to keep attitudes in check). Make giving thanks, volunteering “and all that stuff” a priority for your family, especially this month.
Meaningful Ways to Help Others Not all the usual volunteer opportunities are available this year, but there are many people who need help and support! Plus, helping others is a healthy practice of taking the focus off ourselves, so everyone benefits. Here are meaningful ways families can bless others this season: •
Write letters to family members who can’t travel this holiday season.
Make and deliver treats to first responders or healthcare workers.
Run errands for an elderly neighbor.
Are you a crafty family? Make enrichment items for animals at the San Diego Humane Society. Visit www.sdhumane.org/support-us/ volunteer/youth-service.html for a list of needs and instructions.
Make dinner for a new family in your neighborhood.
Organize a supply drive for a group in need, such as Casa de Amparo, whose mission is to treat and prevent child abuse and neglect through a range of services. Find a list of pressing needs (and youth requests) for their residents at www.sandiegofamily.com/ things-to-do/donations-volunteers-and-local-fundraisers.
Collect needed items for the animals at Helen Woodward Animal Center. Find their wish list at www.animalcenter.org/get-involved/ wish-list.
Make a Thankful Jar Create a thankful jar in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner. Give each guest one or more paper slips or paper leaves; have them write what they are grateful for and add it to the jar. Even the littlest guests can participate in this wonderful “ritual” and family tradition. At the end of the meal, pull each one out and take turns reading them to the group. As an alternative, create a thankful jar just for your family and add something to it each day. Read them aloud on Thanksgiving Day. Or, start a gratitude journal. Simply listing things you’re grateful for is a healthy reset for mind and attitude. Children who can’t write can make a collage, displaying items they’re thankful for.
22 • SanDiegofamily.com • November 2020
Visit www.sandiegofamily.com/things-to-do/donations-volunteers-andlocal-fundraisers to find these articles, which offer additional ideas on how to cultivate an attitude of gratitude: •
How to Inspire Thankfulness in Kids
24 Ways to Give Thanks