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Holiday Volunteering Opportunities for Houston Families

Many children worry about whether they are on Santa’s naughty or nice list. One way to help your little elves feel confident about their spot on the nice list is to encourage them to volunteer. Volunteering as a family is a great way to teach children that the holidays are about more than just presents while also creating a meaningful family holiday tradition. The holiday season is a busy time for many families with so much shopping, cooking, and socializing to do, not to mention all the exciting winter festivals and other seasonal events, so we’ve rounded up a variety of easy ways your family can volunteer locally or through national organizations.

Also, find five ways you can help families affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Holiday Volunteer Opportunities for Long Island Kids

No matter their ages, most kids (and adults) can’t help but get caught up in the gift-getting, list-making, shop-till-you-drop frenzy of the holidays. This year, why not show your children how rewarding it can be to donate to needy families or to help make a sick child’s holiday a little brighter simply by volunteering time?

From fundraising to food drives to helping make wishes come true, we’ve put together a list of organizations that are looking for volunteers this holiday season, as well as throughout the year. You can also check out the Long Island Volunteer Center, which is a great resource of nonprofits in your area. And don’t forget to check with your local houses of worship, which often need help with food pantries and soup kitchens; your child’s school or scouting group, and your local library.

The importance of giving back to those who need it most is a wonderful lesson to teach your children, especially during this time of year. 

Holiday Giving in New Jersey: Volunteering for Families

Looking for new ways to connect as a family this holiday season? Volunteering together can spark the joy of giving in children of all ages. 

Holiday time is full of family traditions like carving turkeys, sharing gifts, and ringing in the New Year. It's also a great time to inspire your kids to give back. Create new family traditions this year by contributing to a favorite charity or reaching out to those in need. From the youngest kids coloring holiday greeting cards to teenagers serving Thanksgiving dinners, we've got the low-down on family-friendly holiday volunteering in New Jersey. 

Sweet Ways to Donate Your Halloween Haul to Those in Need

Got a Halloween candy hangover? Come November 1, parents across the country are wondering how they're going to get rid of all the candy their kids brought home. Some of it will be eaten, sure, but just one look at the amount of calories in an average Halloween haul and you'll want to make sure the bulk of it goes anywhere besides your family's stomachs.

There are a number of creative ways to get rid of Halloween candy, like using it for crafts or science experiments, having the Switch Witch take it in exchange for a small toy, or, you know, saving it until Easter and throwing it in the basket. (Hey, it's only six months away—how stale can that candy get?) But perhaps the best thing to do with Halloween candy is donate it. That way your kids can enjoy a truly special treat: The feeling of helping others. Here are eight charitable organizations who accept donations of unopened candy.

Thanksgiving Volunteer Options for NYC Kids and Families

Every year around the holidays, readers ask about ways to volunteer with their children in New York City. It's not as easy as you think. Many charitable organizations have age minimums for their projects, and even when you do find family-friendly volunteering opportunities, they often book up weeks in advance.

With Thanksgiving approaching, we want to highlight some great ways NYC kids and their parents can give back to those in need. We're including opportunities for children of all ages so everyone can participate. While kids might not be able to work in a soup kitchen, they can help the homeless, hungry, and elderly in other meaningful ways.

Here are 11 family-friendly ways to put the "giving" in your Thanksgiving.

Jonathon's Dream Reimagined: Accessible Playground Open Again

Originally built in 1996, 'Jonathon's Dream', was a playground created as a place where children of differing abilities could come and play together.  But, it was also built as a way that the family of little Jonathon Peter Barzach, who passed away prior to his first birthday, could grieve his sad loss. Barzach had a degenerative muscular disease and his family lost him at just 9 months. "When Jonathon's diagnosis became terminal, a counselor suggested the family dedicate a project in his memory," said Ronit Shoham, a co-founder of the Miracle League of Connecticut.  Shoham and many, many others (mostly volunteers) have been working hard to make a new Jonathon's Dream playground a reality. Be sure to check out some of the other boundless playgrounds in Fairfield and Hartford.

Free Perks That Come with Your Westchester Library Card

If your library card hasn’t left your wallet in a while, it may be time to pry it from its confines and put it to use.

More than a means to borrow books, your Westchester library card is your ticket to a host of privileges that you might not even know about. September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, so take this opportunity to get one for each member of your family if you haven’t already. Read on to see what you might be missing—and it’s a lot more than just reading!

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