Gifts play a big role in the lives of children at Christmas time. Many families struggle just to put food on the table, so Christmas gifts aren't always an option. Purchasing gifts for these families brings joy to the children that they might not otherwise experience. Whether you go through a charitable organisation or organise a gift donation yourself, this is one community service project fit for the whole family.
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While not very exciting for the average child, clothing is a useful gift for needy children. For a child who never gets brand-new clothing, a shirt with a favourite character or a new pair of shoes is exciting. An article of clothing provides a functional Christmas gift that will be appreciated and put to good use. Choose a well-coordinated outfit or a few staples such as shirts, trousers and shoes. Check on the child's size to ensure the clothes will fit for as long as possible.
Many needy children don't have regular access to their own art supplies. Art provides a creative outlet for kids. Providing art supplies in the form of a Christmas gift encourages all kids to pursue their creativity. It might also give a child the chance to explore a talent that leads to a future career or hobby. Choose a variety of basic art supplies. Assume the child has no materials. Items such as paper, paint, paintbrushes, markers, crayons, chalk, construction paper, scissors, glue and glitter give the child a good basic supply of art materials. Place all items inside a plastic storage box.
A similar option is to support the child through art classes at a local community centre or other program. Paying the tuition costs of the program allows a child from a low-income family to have a creative experience he wouldn't otherwise have.
Toys bring joy to the lives of children. They also allow kids to use their imagination. Many needy kids go without toys or are stuck with used toys. Choose a brand-new toy for needy kids as a Christmas gift. Select a classic toy option that the child can enjoy for several years. Blocks, balls and dolls as well as board games are a few of the basic toys that work well as a gift. Keep in mind the age of the child when selecting the toys.
Books open up a child to a world of imagination and creativity. Select the books based on the recipient's age. If you know what type of activities and topics the child enjoys, customise the selection to fit those interests. Depending on your budget for the gifts, you can purchase several books for the child. Another option is to add a book to another gift for variety.
While not a physical gift, sharing your time with a needy child can make more of an impact in her life. Look for a local mentoring program that pairs up needy children with adult mentors. Check with the group's guidelines to determine the types of activities you can do with the child. Taking a trip to a local zoo or children's museum provides the child with an experience she may not normally have. Even simple activities, such as playing a board game or taking the child to a park, is a meaningful experience.
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