Giving as a Family: Projects for Parents and Children to do Together

giving as a familyThe holiday season always makes me turn introspective on how blessed my family and I am. While we try to give and teach the lesson of giving to our children year-around, the opportunities at this time of year are not only abundant but are relatable and easy for kids to understand and participate in. If you are looking for an organization to support on Giving Tuesday or for a project that your family can do together for Family Volunteer Day, these upcoming projects will give you some starting points.

Giving as A Family

Give Thanks

The Fox Lake District Library is partnering with Operation Gratitude to provide handwritten letters to active duty servicemen, wounded warriors and veterans. Letters and drawings from adults and children can be dropped off at any of the services desks in the library during November and December .

Give Nourishment

Food is something that is always in need. For places that take food donations anytime of year see our Where to Donate Food in Lake County story.

A Safe Place is collecting donations of Thanksgiving meal items to make baskets for their residents. Items they are collecting include: turkey, ham, instant mashed potatoes, canned gravy, green beans, stuffing mix, canned fruit, cranberry sauce, corn bread mix, biscuit mix, pumpkin and apple pie fillings, pie crusts, cake mix, frosting, brownie mix, disposable turkey pans and reusable shopping totes. If you can help, please contact Denise at 847-731-7165 x104 or [email protected]

Open Arms Mission {Antioch} is in need of donations for holiday food boxes.  Holiday food boxes provide enough food to feed a family of eight, and the Open Arms Mission anticipates it will need more than 450 boxes for Thanksgiving and Christmas each. A donation of $25 will provide a traditional dinner including a 12-14 pound turkey, potatoes, vegetables, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing and dessert. The mission will provide additional fresh foods including eggs, butter and milk.  Donations can be made online.

Ice House Mall “Meals of Hope” for donations to the Barrington Food Pantry. Collections start on November 20 and continue through December 21. Donation boxes will be located throughout the mall, bring in your donations and help those in need during the holiday season.

Liberty Theater Holiday Food Drive. December 5 and 12 at 10:00 a.m.  You can see a holiday movie for FREE with the donation of food items for the food pantry.  The December 5th showing is “It’s a Wonderful Life” and the December 12th showing is “The Grinch.”

Give a Gift

Adopt a family through Open Arms Mission {Antioch} and shop for Christmas presents for them. The mission anticipates shopping for year 600 children this year. You decide how many children you want to shop for and the mission will provide you with their sizes and two gift ideas.

Give Warmth

Socks for the Soul a division of the Open Arms Mission collects warm socks to distribute October through March. Last year they collected and distributed 24,000 pairs of socks. If you would like to contribute a package of new warm socks (men, women, children or infants) contact Judy at 847-508-5938.

Engle Junction Preschool is accepting donations again for new hat, gloves, and scarfs for The Allendale Association again this year. They will be collecting through Friday, December 18.

Ela Area Public Library Annual Holiday Mitten Tree, December 1 – January 4.   Place new hats, mittens, gloves and scarves on the Library’s Mitten Tree located on the first floor near the Information Desk. All donations benefit local agencies in need.

Coats for Cold – Northerly Outfitters. Bring in a coat to donate (must have working zippers) and receive 15% off a new, in-stock coat. Coats will be distributed through local Lake County charities.

Give Comfort


Max’s Deli {191 Skokie Valley Rd., Highland Park} invites families to the third annual Cheesy Noodles Mac N’ Cheese Contest to support Stand up for Kids, November 23, 2015. Stand up for Kids Chicago is a non-profit organization dedicated to end youth homelessness through local outreach.  Tickets for this event are $100 per family and include food, drinks, dessert and entertainment. They will also be collecting new or gently used winter coats, boots, and other cold weather gear for Chicago’s homeless teens. The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with the Mac N’ Cheese competition with chefs from Highwood’s New Barrel Crossing, Pinstripes Northbrook,  and more. Guests will enjoy all the Mac N’ Cheese that can eat, passed appetizers, Max’s make-your-own S’mores Bar, beer, wine, soft drinks and music by Bizar Entertainment. Tickets to the Cheesy Noodles Mac N’ Cheese Contest are available by calling (773) 817-1684 or visiting

Find more ideas for giving back as a family in our Parent and Child Volunteering guide.

How will you and your kids be giving back this holiday season?

About Melissa Haak 626 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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