The approaching holidays offer many opportunities to give back to your community. Giving back can also present a great opportunity to instill the importance of giving being better than receiving at Christmas time. Here are six ways you can give back during this holiday season, and how to involve the whole family.

1. Volunteer

There are many places that can use extra help as the weather turns colder and the holidays approach. Food banks are often receiving extra donations and need help organizing them. They also may be looking for people to help serve meals to the homeless. Volunteering to help serve others is a great lesson for your family in how to have a servant’s heart and to honor God by loving others.

2. Donate Your Clothes

There is a good chance that your family has clothes or jackets they don’t wear anymore. Have a day where your family cleans out their closets and discuss the importance of giving items to people who can’t afford them. Then, take the items to a local clothes pantry or similar distribution center and show your children that your items help real people.

3. Ring a Bell

Ringing a bell for the Salvation Army is simple enough that even your youngest child can help. However, the impact of being a bell ringer is great. 85% of everything raised by the Red Kettle Campaign goes directly back into the community, meaning it helps feed the hungry, it keeps people warm through the cold winter months, it helps at risk youth and many other programs that The Salvation Army offers.

4. Visit Your Neighbors

When was the last time you talked to your neighbors? Too often, we get caught up in the business of day to day life and end up ignoring those in close proximity to us. Bake some Christmas treats with your children and deliver them in person, taking the time to visit with them and catch up with what has been happening in their lives.

5. Send Extra Cards

While you may be planning on sending cards to your friends and relatives, set aside a few extra to send to those who may not get any. You can send cards to soldiers overseas, children recovering in the hospital, or contact local nursing homes about sending cards to residents.

6. Give to the Church

When you give to your church, you directly impact the areas of your church that matter most to you, and your money can benefit the church as a whole. To help teach your children about the importance of giving back to their church, encourage them to give some of their allowance or gift money as a tithe.

There are many great ways to give back during the holiday season. Start with some of these ideas, or come up with your own. No matter how you choose to give back, include your whole family and teach them the importance of spreading God’s love during a season that is hard for many.