Seattle Foundation Blog

Making A Holiday Impact

Three easy ways to engage the whole family in giving back.

November 17, 2017

By Lauren Domino and Elaine Chu, Philanthropic Advisors

Along with ample servings of pie, this is the time of year we come together to share in the spirit of gratitude and giving with those we love the most. As you plan your next family gathering, here are some simple ideas for inspiring generosity and community engagement across generations.

Foster the philanthropic spirit. For younger kids, create a “Spend, Save, Give” piggy bank out of Mason jars to encourage them to give back to the community in addition to supporting personal goals (if you don’t have time to craft, this Moonjar also makes a great gift). To engage teens and the broader family, provide each person with a grant budget to give to a nonprofit of their choice. Share stories about the causes you’re passionate about and the nonprofits you each selected. Seattle Foundation is also currently accepting applications for our Youth Grantmaking Board for high school students.

Do a family service project. Volunteering provides a way for families to strengthen connections while making a meaningful difference in the lives of others. 

• Food Bank: Sign up for a shift at your local food bank to sort and pack food, or you can also collect canned goods as a family and deliver them. Northwest Harvest has two locations and accepts volunteers ages 9 and up.
• Basic Needs: Sign up for a shift to help sort clothes, toys, books and other essentials. Treehouse The Wearhouse is a free store where youth in foster care and their caregivers can shop, and Wellspring Family Services Baby Boutique serves families with children through age 17 who are experiencing homelessness and poverty.
• Holiday Gifts: Sponsor a family for the holidays and go shopping for “your family.” YWCA provides information about the children in a family including first names, ages, sizes and gift ideas.

Share stories. Based on the research of Dr. Marshall Duke, the single strongest predictor of children’s resilience appears to be knowledge of their family history. The primary source of this knowledge is the stories that are told to them by relatives, parents and grandparents. Contact your philanthropic advisor for a complimentary flipbook of questions that inspire great storytelling to help you pass down the values that matter most to your family.

Looking for more great ideas? Seattle Foundation is a leader in advising families of all sizes and ages, helping them identify and invest in the causes that matter most to them. Reach out to us to learn more. 




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