Stretch your holiday charitable giving: Donate on any budget

My family isn’t unlike yours, I bet: Our budget is always tight, especially during the holidays, when we face extra expenses like Christmas presents, travel and OH MY GOSH CANDY CANE JOE-JOES. (Don’t deny it; you stock up, too.) But that doesn’t mean we scrimp on our holiday charitable giving.

Generosity and a commitment to helping others are central family values in this house. For us, that means giving to nonprofits throughout the year, but we always increase our donations during the holidays. (The giving spirit is in the air—or wait, maybe that’s pumpkin spice and evergreen scent!)

When it comes to our holiday charitable giving this year, I want to get the most bang for my buck. I’m betting you do, too. So no matter if your budget is super tight or as expansive as Bill and Melinda Gates’, here’s how to make the biggest change with your money.

This Christmas, make sure every dollar makes the biggest impact with your holiday charitable giving. 10 tips to make generosity and charity possible for any budget. Read more

Kids volunteering at home: Little Loving Hands

I received a free craft kit from Little Loving Hands to try out. As always, all opinions here are my own.


My Peeper, she has one of the kindest, most empathetic hearts I’ve ever known. She brings Kiwi’s favorite toys to her when Little Sister is crying. She covers me in kisses if I stub my toe (including the time a few weeks ago when I’m pretty sure I broke my pinkie toe—ouch!). She gets choked up if a character in a book is sad.

So it’s natural that she wants to help others.

Volunteering with kids at home is as easy as making crafts for homeless children. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Volunteering opportunities for preschoolers and younger kids are slim pickings, though. I keep an eye out for children’s volunteering activities but rarely find a way to bring her along.

So we create our own volunteering opportunities at home. We make cards for Meals on Wheels. We do the monthly activities, like cleaning up the nearby park and making bird feeders, sent to us by Giving Families. And recently, we made a craft for a homeless child living in a shelter with the kit from Little Loving Hands. Read more

Wipe out diaper need 

Diaper changing pad - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

It’s a cliche that babies go through a lot of diapers, and for good reason.

So many diaper changes

Eric and I had been through the ’round the clock diaper duty with Peeper, but somehow we had forgotten by the time Kiwi was born. It seemed as if just when we changed Kiwi, she’d wail, letting us know she was wet again.

Before long, we’d run out of those impossibly tiny newborn diapers (the one size I hadn’t stocked up on). So off the grandparents went to the grocery store—and came back with a package each of the leading brand. (Eric’s dad didn’t know which I preferred so he hedged his bets.)

Diaper donations help families

Unfortunately, for too many families, the constant diaper changes aren’t just an amusing, if exasperating, rite of passage into parenthood. Diapers are crazy expensive and aren’t covered in assistance programs like WIC or food stamps, so moms and dads may have to make do with fewer than their little ones need.

In fact, a staggering 5.3 million children don’t have enough diapers—putting them at higher risk for infection and rash as their parents wait longer between changes and even dry out used diapers for reuse, I learned from the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). What’s more, the lack of disposable diapers sometimes keeps kids out of day care—and parents out of work.

AWHONN is partnering with Kimberly Clark and the National Diaper Bank Network to provide free diapers to the one in three families who struggle to buy enough diapers in the Wipe Out Diaper Need campaign, which runs this week.. If you have extras that your littles have outgrown, you can donate to food banks, assistance programs or a diaper bank (find one nearby here). You can also donate here (that’s what I did; $1 buys six diapers that go directly to families).

When I change Peeper and Kiwi’s diapers lately, I think about all those moms and dads who need to wait a little longer before changing their babies so they don’t run out completely. Instead of bemoaning another wet nappy or even a blowout, I’m grateful that we have enough.

This post was not sponsored or solicited. I found out about the campaign and chose to write about it because many people, like me, didn’t know about the problem of diaper need.