Give Back, Family-Style!

Written by: Elizabeth Bushaw

It’s that time of year again. Your kids are bursting with enthusiasm for the holidays and their wish lists are growing longer by the commercial break. While this season often brings out the selfish side of our children, the timing has never been better for teaching them the importance of selflessness. Fortunately, Chicago families can participate in a variety of kid-friendly volunteer events this year. By helping others, your sometimes greedy little munchkins will learn the significance of giving back while experiencing the joy of spreading holiday cheer to those in need — a gift that trumps even the most sought-after toy on their lists.

This holiday season, More Than Milk, a volunteer organization that serves to unite, inspire, and energize moms through philanthropy and build a family culture of giving back while supporting non-profit organizations — all with babies and kids in tow — is teaming with New Moms, Inc., to provide plenty of family-friendly opportunities to give back. New Moms, Inc. is an organization dedicated to equipping struggling, impoverished adolescent parents and their children with the personal and career-readiness tools to permanently change their life stories from chronic dependence on society to economic independence and family stability.  

Gift Wrapping BOWnanza: Join More Than Milk on December 5 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for a gift wrapping play date at Cocoon Care. Learn the art of beautiful bow making; then use your new talent to wrap More Than Milk’s toy drive donations supporting NewMoms, Inc. While the kids are occupied in the play space with new friends and Urban Sitter volunteers, moms will rotate between gift wrapping and playing with little ones. Click here for more information and to register.

Still looking for more opportunities to keep your little elves busy? Check out some of the other Chicago organizations that are planning family-friendly holiday philanthropy events this year.

Direct Effect Charities Letters to Santa Program: For the past 12 years, Direct Effect Charities has been running its Letters to Santa program exclusively through Chicago’s public schools, distributing and answering more than 100,000 letters written by many of the neediest kids in the city. Direct Effect distributes the letters to donors throughout the country who purchase, wrap, and deliver a gift of approximately $25 to the child’s school. Participants can request letters until early December by emailing Michelle at or by calling her at 312.296.5311. For more information, visit

The Honeycomb Project Holiday Drives: The Honeycomb Project creates and manages meaningful volunteer events that bring families together to learn about, enrich, and give back to their communities. Join this Chicago nonprofit on December 19th for a toy drive to benefit Greenhouse Shelter, one of the city's largest shelters for victims of abuse. Participants will collect and wrap toys and enjoy cookies together. The Honeycomb Project will also host a pizza party and book/pajama drive on December 22 from 6 to 8:30pm, at Roots Handmade Pizza, You can register for both events here.

Posted on November 15, 2013 at 10:18 AM