It’s a new year, and with it come new opportunities to support families and children. Here is a few ideas to get you started lending a helping hand:

  1. Begin by reaching out close to home. Check with groups you already belong to, such as churches and schools, to see if there are any needs that families and kids have that you can help meet.
  2. Don’t forget the “little things!” The family next door, downstairs, or around the block might 
appreciate something simple such you as picking the kids up from school or a being a sitter for date night. You may even have some hand-me-downs from your own children that you think might be of use to someone else. Brainstorm all the things you think would be nice if someone offered to do for you, and chances are someone you know would be thankful for them, too.
  3. Ask your county’s Department of Family and Children’s Services (the names of the state and county offices may vary) for ways you may be of service.
  4. You may want to consider fostering or adopting children.
  5. Join organizations that have the mission of helping families and children. A simple Internet search can yield many options you may not have known existed. There are plenty of worthy groups locally, nationally, and globally, so get involved!
  6. Donate money, food, or goods to thrift stores and food banks that lend a hand to families.
  7. Volunteer at a children’s hospital or a family-oriented homeless shelter.
  8. Become a monthly sponsor to a child through a reputable charity.
  9. Lead a fundraising project to build or renovate a family park.
  10. Many areas have opportunities for family sponsorship during the holidays. This can be a great way to spread a message of love and hope.