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How to Teach: The Gift of Giving Back, As A Family by Erin

by Erin, posted to Career & Money

Holidays, birthdays, so many occasions that seem only about "getting"... I am on the lookout for ways to teach our children about giving. What are some great ways to involve my family in giving back to the community and helping those less fortunate. This could range from small acts of kindness to... More »

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Holiday Programs « Participate « Shelter Network (Peninsula)

Shelter Network is committed to providing housing and support services...more

Easy and actionable ideas for working with Shelter Network, everything from adopt-a-family to host a party to host a gift drive.

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C.A.L.L. Primrose Center (Burlingame)

Joint venture of the First Presbyterian Church of Burlingame and the...more

Ask about packing a 'Thanksgiving Box' (assume they also do it at Christmas). Great and easy thing to do with your kids. 650-342-2255

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My New Red Shoes (Burlingame)

Helps homeless children look and feel confident as they start the...more

They have ceated age-appropriate service learning kits for students, community groups, and teachers. These kits provide meaningful activities to teach students about the children we serve and fun step-by-step instructions of how you can take action.

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CityTrees (Redwood City)

Promotes and supports urban forestry efforts in Redwood City. Plants...more

We have several tree plantings throughout the year on Saturdays. One child had their birthday party with us and donated the money for the tree. We also have pruning events. Contact: Paulette at 650-556-9380 ext. 4

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PHS/SPCA (San Mateo)


PHS/SPCA builds healthy relationships between people and animals. We...more

Youth volunteers (13-17) - can work with a parent after attending a training session. Need to make a 2 hrs/once a week commitment. Lots of opportunities here.

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Volunteer | CuriOdyssey (San Mateo)

San Mateo Museum CuriOdyssey brings children and families up close...more

Teen and parent teams serve as roving weekend guides in the Wildlife Habitats and by training to bring out some of our smaller education animals and interactive exhibits. contact: Lee Cauble 650-340-7580

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Lend A Hand This Holiday Season (Article from Burlingame Patch)

Find ways to help others and spread holiday cheer in and around...more

Great list of opportunities from Burlingame Patch - very specific. Great programs that you can help with at the holidays and throughout the year.

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Sharing the Holiday Bounty

A look at volunteer and donation opportunities on the San Francisco...more

Great list of opportunities from Burlingame Patch - very specific. Some are around Thanksgiving, but most have other great programs that you can help with at other times during the year.

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Ways to Give Back During the Holidays -- National Geographic Kids (Article)


Read how you can give back over the holidays on National Geographic...more

Some great ideas, many of them small and not too hard to accomplish.

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San Francisco Food Bank (San Francisco)

Find a local food bank. In SF, anyone over four can volunteer (on...more

The kids love the conveyor belts, box making machines and more importantly the tangibility of sorting food. On one Sunday afternoon a small group of a few families sorted several tons of oranges.

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A change collecting program based on our newly launched school...more

I love this because it is super easy and very kid friendly, plus it benefits children and was founded by a child. The kids can run the whole thing and take ownership.

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Find a Local Food Bank via Feeding America (National)

Search for local Feeding America food banks in your neighborhood and...more

Suggested by Eden Godsoe

Feeding America has a great online tool where you can look up your state or city to find a food bank in need that is near you. Your family can donate or volunteer.

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Hope Walks (Anywhere)

Find an annual walk that raises awareness and money for orphans of the...more

This is something easy to do as a family.

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World Wildlife Fund | Adopt an Emperor Penguin (In lieu of birthday gift)

Adopt an Emperor penguin. Help WWF protect emperor penguins and...more

In lieu of birthday gifts, our 8 year old neighbor chose her own cause that her friends could donate to... adopting a penguin through the World Wildlife Fund. Great idea.

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In lieu of more birthday gifts from his friends, our 10 year old neighbor asked for optional donations. He created a campaign and helped plant 1500 of trees in a deforested part of Africa. Check out his page here. Good stuff!

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The Gift of Giving Back - (Video)

Meet the man who started an international phenomenon with a simple...more

Always good to pay it forward...

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My New Red Shoes helps homeless children look and feel confident as...more

Suggested by Alison Wagonfeld

This organization helps homeless children feel better about themselves. You can donate new sneakers and volunteer to pack gift bags. Contact

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