Have you heard about the new movement that encourages people everywhere to band together and support those charities and organizations that they feel are worthy?
GivingTuesday, initiated in Canada by CanadaHelps, GIV3, and several other partners, marks the opening day of the giving season. After you’ve done all your holiday gift buying on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s time to pay it forward on GivingTuesday.
Giving Tuesday is a day for each and every one of us to really make a difference. It’s also a great way to get your kids involved in learning about helping those who are less fortunate.
Be a part of this new tradition of generosity and give back to a cause that matters to you.
Who will you support today?
Now that December is upon us, many people are starting to get into the holiday spirit. For some, that means thinking about what they are thankful for during the year and wanting to pay it forward in the season of giving.
Over the past year, my girls have volunteered in a few ways. Both have visited the Ottawa Food back and learned that not everyone in Ottawa has enough to eat each and every day. They’ve visited residents in nursing homes to play games and sing with them and have shared their allowance with the typhoon victims in the Philippines.
Giving back doesn’t need to be big. It just needs to be meaningful. For kids, learning that there are people who need a helping hand is a great lesson in empathy and kindness. There are so many ways to get your kids involved. Here are a few ideas for you and you kids:
- Donate to a charitable organization
- Invite an elderly neighbor or someone who lives alone to join your celebration
- Deliver a meal to a family in need
- Write a thoughtful note to someone special
- Donate clothes you’ve outgrown
- Donate food to a local charity or food bank
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen
- Send a care package to a soldier
- Visit hospital patients
- Foster a dog or cat
- Adopt an endangered animal through a zoo
- Shovel snow for a neighbor
- Help pick up trash at a local park
- Join a church or school group that does community service projects
Giving back is a great thing to do all year round, but the holidays tend to bring out the charitable side in most people. Try some of these ideas with your family and make a difference this holiday season.
How does your family give back at the Holidays?
Tonight is the first night of Chanukah, the 8-day Jewish Festival of lights. Chanukah commemorates the victory of a small band of Jews called Maccabees over the pagan Syrian-Greeks who ruled over Israel. After regaining control of their temple, the Jews went inside to find it dirty and destroyed so the began to to clean it and rededicate it to G-d (in Hebrew, Chanukah means to dedicate).
In the Temple, there was an eternal flame that had to stay lit all the time. But when the Jews came into the Temple to light the flame, there was only enough oil to keep it burning for one day. After they lit it, however, a second miracle occurred — the lamp remained lit for eight days until the new oil arrived. This is how Hanukkah became known as the “Festival of Lights.” To commemorate this miracle, during Hanukkah Jews light the menorah. We light one candle each night of Hanukkah and give thanks for the miracle of the oil. And we also eat lots of stuff fried in oil.
One of my favorite things to eat are little fried donuts called Sufganyiot. They’re yummy to eat but can be tricky to make. I found an easy recipe that’s great to do with kids.
- One roll of store-bought biscuit dough
- Canola oil for frying
- A small bowl of sugar, white or powdered
- About 1/2 cup of any red jam
- Let dough sit at room temperature for 20 minutes so that it’s easy to roll out.
- On a floured surface, roll out dough until it’s 1/2-inch thick. Cut out 2 1/2- or 3-inch circles.
- Fill a pot with 2 inches of oil and heat it to 360-375 degrees so it’s nice and hot.
- Fry the dough until each side is a deep brown. test one to make sure they’re not doughy in the middle.
- Transfer donuts to a paper towel, pat off any excess grease, and then coat with sugar.
- Fill with jam using a squeeze bottle. If the jam is being difficult, warm it for 30 seconds in the microwave.
That’s it. Eat up and Happy Chanukah!