At the heart of it, Christmas is about giving to others. It’s a time to open our hearts and set aside our time, energy and resources to go to those who need it most. It’s about spreading the holiday spirit! This year, we encourage you to give. For those with a heart for foster care and children in need, there are several wonderful charities that make it simple for you to directly impact a child this year, and make their Christmas a little brighter. Get to know a few of the top charities that help thousands of children each and every holiday season. 

Operation Christmas Child is a great organization that encourages others to fill up a  shoebox full of items- such as toys, clothes hygiene items, school supplies, and even a handwritten note- and have it shipped to children all over the world. First, you must choose a gender and age group, and fill the box with items that match those children. This is a great charity for organizations like schools and offices to join together and support! 

Toys for Tots is a charity run by the U.S. Marine Corps, that allows families to shop for or donate gently used toys (for younger children), and donate them at a drop-off location that will be picked up and distributed to children in your community. This is a simple task that families can take part in together, children love the excitement of picking out Christmas gifts for others to enjoy! 

The Angel Tree was created by the Salvation Army in 1979. It’s an organization that sets up Christmas trees in various locations consisting of ornaments with local children’s names, gender, and ages written on them along with some of their Christmas wishes and practical needs. People are able to pick a child’s ornament off of the tree and go shopping for that specific child this Christmas. 

These are just a few of the most well-known children’s charities- there are likely plenty of other local opportunities to take part in that benefit the children in your community. Of course, while participating in these organizations (and encouraging others to do so) is important, almost all of these charities run on volunteers, and could probably use your time. So, get involved this December – it’s never too late to make a difference.