5 Easy Ways to Give Back This Halloween

Let’s all be honest: giving back is tough. Between raising a family, work, maintaining a social life and everything in between, finding time to volunteer is nearly impossible. It’s okay - we all struggle with it, and it helps us appreciate those who give so generously of their time.

One of the great things about holidays is they give us reason to think about those less fortunate and often inspire us to give back in some way. Thanksgiving has soup kitchens and Christmas has angel trees, but what about Halloween?

“Give me a costume and give me some candy!” is the common refrain. Which is totally fine, but it’s also a chance to teach our kids about generosity.

Check out these simple acts of kindness that can become part of your family traditions for years to come:

1.     Host a Halloween party – You already do this? Great, now have all of your guests bring an item to donate to the local food bank. Take your kids with you (in costume) when you drop it off.

2.     Reverse Trick or Treat – Call your local hospital and ask if they have a program in place to deliver candy to the kids in the children’s ward. If candy is not allowed (or not a good idea due to diet restrictions), fill a plastic pumpkin with a mask, stickers, crayons and other decorations for a quick DIY Halloween mask.

3.     Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Purchase your kids’ costumes from a thrift store, then donate them back when you’re done.  You’ll be amazed at the great selection Goodwill and other stores have. This is also a great place to search for items for grown-up costumes …1980’s punk anyone?

4.     Donate your candy – Have your kids pick out ten pieces of candy from their enormous stashes to keep for themselves. Send the rest to Operation Gratitude. This organization mails care packages to soldiers overseas. Have your kids write a letter to a soldier to include as well!

5.     Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF – Order an orange box or make your own box to collect money on Halloween. Since 1950, families across the United States have donated over $150 million to this children’s organization. Your neighbors will be more than happy to get rid of some of their spare change while handing out candy to Supermen, pirates, princesses, and cowboys.

Teaching our kids to give back is important not only for their well-being, but also our’s as mothers, and Halloween is a perfect opportunity to show kids that a little sacrifice to can a long way.

What other ideas do you have for giving back on Halloween? We’d love to hear your stories and thoughts in the comments!

Also, don’t forget to keep your nominations for Mother of the Year coming in!

Photo courtesy of Hanna Horwarth on Flickr