This is a resource for parents looking for ideas around kids giving back in terms of time, or by gifts or charitable donations of just kids volunteering ideas. Brisbane is definitely a wonderful city of the world to live in but there are still many people who struggle to live on a day-to-day basis.
One of the greatest gifts you can give your own child is an understanding and appreciation of how fortunate they may be to have these necessities.
Even if you aren’t rich in material things, how easy it is to share the joy and good cheer with those around you. You might like to do this to offset the feeling of a commercial Christmas or simply an idea you add to your family vision board. Whatever the case, we have tried to provide ideas for you based both around Christmas but also ideas you could explore any time of the year.
Brisbane Basket Brigade
The Basket Brigade is the annual campaign to provide food and gifts for people that need a hand – children, the elderly, hungry & homeless – during the Christmas season each year. Your family can help by registering to become a Basket Buddy. Basket Buddies is a community of volunteers across the Brisbane area willing to add an extra (nominated) item or two to their shopping basket each week leading up to Christmas.
By the beginning of December, we’ll have full baskets to give to Brisbane families in need. These items like tinned vegetables, pasta, and some small treats won’t break the bank. On average, the items cost less than $4 per week and make a difference.
Once you have signed up you are sent a grocery list of items, one for each week in the lead up to Christmas. Your kids can be assigned this and can help you check off the items. They can then help package and delivery the baskets, too if desired. Find out more
BCC Library Amnesty
Do you, or any of your family members have outstanding library fees? Did you know that every year, between December 1stand December 31styou can have any existing overdue fines, processing fees and/or hold fees waived in exchange for a can of food?
And even if you don’t have any fines (and are better than me), you can still donate cans of non-perishable food to your local BCC library in December.
This year, Council’s library amnesty will donate all food to Foodbank Queensland, which distributes food to charities and community organisations that assist those in need. Find out more
Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal
The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal is Australia’s largest and longest-running Christmas gift Appeal. With your gifts in tow, visit your local Kmart store and take a tag from the Wishing Tree. Using one end of the tag, indicate the age group and gender of who you think might like to receive your gift then place it under the Wishing Tree. Don’t forget to take the other half of the tag home to hang on your tree!
Alternatively, you can leave your gift at the express drop-off point at the store’s front. A Salvation Army representative will then collect the gifts from Kmart stores and oversee their distribution to those in need.
Gifts do not need to be purchased at Kmart, nor do they need to be wrapped. Find out more
- Fare Share Christmas Appeal
- The Smith Family’s Toy & Book Appeal is your opportunity to help bring a smile to a disadvantaged child’s face this Christmas.
- Volunteer with Operation Christmas Child and join our happy band of volunteers reaching children in poverty with gift-filled shoeboxes
- Micah Projects Christmas Hamper Appeal
- Children’s Hospital Foundation
- Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital
- Share The Dignity
- Youth Off The Street Christmas Appeal
- World Vision
- The Little Elves Project
- The Pyjama Foundation
- Starlight Foundation
Some of these are Christmas ideas, and some of these apply all year round.
Teaching our kids the gift of giving doesn’t just have to be in monetary or material goods. Sometimes, just doing something generous for someone else can bring happiness to those around them.
One idea I love is adding a small note along with their treat in each advent calendar pocket. Things like, “Make someone smile today”, “give someone a compliment”, and “Help someone with something” are friendly ways for them to feel good about themselves while doing the same for others too. Other things may be “go through your clothes/toys and put together a pile of any you may not need anymore or that may not fit for donation”.
- Help a sibling with their chores
- Pack a Christmas shoebox for Operation Shoebox
- Make a “grateful jar” for each family member and whenever you think of something you’re grateful for about that family member, write it down and place it in their jar
- Go on a trash walk and help clean up your neighbourhood
- Make pretty bookmarks to leave in library books – be sure to write a note to tell that the bookmark is intended to be used and shared!
- Donate books to a library or a doctor’s office
- Bake cookies and treats for local emergency services
Do you have any other ideas for giving back or volunteering at Christmas? We would love to hear about them, comment below and we will add it to this resource.