We work hard, put in overtime, pull out from our savings, set extra aside to create and give our children the best memories possible. Personally, I began my Christmas shopping well before the Toys ‘R’ Us catalog arrived, took my son and daughter down the Target toy aisles to find what appealed to them the most. These days I worry about having matching decorations and double wreaths for my doors, which must go up with enough time before the holidays and how we’ll accommodate parents, in-laws, cousins and kids at our own Thanksgiving dinner.
Through all the hustle, bustle and stress….we must not lose focus of the greatest opportunity to give thanks we have all year long. We have an entire month devoted to preparing a perfect meal and day, for whatever size of family to come together and give thanks. Growing up, I associated Thanksgiving with: turkey, family, football, pilgrims, Indians and the start of Christmas. I think, for the most part the Thanksgiving tradition lives on.
This year though, I’ve promised myself and my family that we would take part AS A FAMILY in giving back during the season of giving thanks.
Although many of us donate time and money to many organizations; local, national and international, all year long, this is the perfect opportunity for us to come together and instill a new tradition into our families’ holiday preparations. There has even been a day marked as: Family Volunteer Day.
This year, Family Volunteer Day will be on November 22, 2014. The Points of Light* organization has dedicated this day as a day of service to demonstrate and celebrate the power of families who volunteer together, supporting their neighborhoods, communities and the world. This day, coincidently, kicks off National Family Week, sponsored by the Alliance for Children and Families and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Families, no matter the size, who give back together, gain strength together. The return on investment is ten fold and a lifetime of memories for your children. It is our responsibility to raise citizens who will give back to their community.
There is no harm in humbling our children at any opportunity provided, but especially during the season they expect the most from us. Simply observing mom and dad giving back time, necessities and luxuries to those less fortunate will grow our children’s wisdom and compassion for one another. Increase their knowledge, appreciation and gratefulness, around the Thanksgiving table this year.
Below you will find a list of volunteer opportunities for your family to take part in throughout the Rio Grande Valley during the month of November. I will also work on gathering information for the month of December. We must unite as mommies and be the superheroes our children swear we are!!!
- Feast of Sharing- Various Dates and Locations- Visit your local HEB for more information.
Port Isabel- 11/12/2014 6-9 p.m. Port Isabel High School
McAllen- 11/16/2014 2-6 p.m. McAllen Convention Center
Brownsville- 11/19/2014 11-3 p.m. Jacob Brown Auditorium
Raymondville- 11/20/2014 11-2 p.m. Our Lady of Guadalupe Perish
Harlingen- 11/21/2014 11-3 p.m. Harlingen Community Center
RGC- 12/4/2014 6-9 p.m. Fort Ringgold Elementary
Weslaco- 12/13/2014 11-3 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Parish
- Hidalgo County Bar Association in conjunction with various Colonia Agencies- Food Drive November 20th in Alamo
- Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley- Encourage your children to chair a food drive at school
- Visit with your local Faith Based Organizations
If I’ve left any organizations or events for giving back, please feel free to add to the comments below.
*Not paid to endorse any of the above organizations. Simply research I’ve conducted relevant to supporting giving back as a family.