Does your family want to spread the joy of the Christmas season by serving others? Here are six ways to make a difference and make your family’s Christmas more meaningful during the holidays: 

1. Volunteer. The holidays are a great time for your family to serve others in your community. Organizations like food pantries, homeless shelters and assisted living homes have volunteer opportunities. The giving of your time to serve others will make your family feel great. Volunteering your time throughout the year on a Venture trip is another great volunteer opportunity. Venture trips with Children of the Nations are great opportunities for your family to learn about a new culture and serve children. 

                                                                                                                 Volunteers at a meal packing event
2. Do a Fundraiser. Your family can partner with local organizations to fundraise money or goods to those in need. Children of the Nations (COTN) partners with individuals, groups, and churches who help fundraise for items like wells and sewing machines that make big impacts on the people and communities. 

                                                                                                                   Craft fair items for a fundraising event
3. Alternative Giving. With alternative giving, you can surprise and delight loved ones with a gift given in their name. The recipient will feel great knowing that someone is blessed with a gift given on their behalf. Christmas gift catalogs include gifts like school supplies, hygiene items, and farm animals. When you purchase a gift like a pig, a mosquito net or textbooks, you are giving much-needed essentials to a child, equipping them to transform their nation. Perusing the gift catalog is a fun family activity where your children learn about generosity and meeting the needs of others.

                                                                                                                         Children of the Nations alternative gift catalog
4. Alternative Shopping. Alternative shopping benefits families in need through the sale of homemade items. Examples of alternative shopping organizations include Deux Mains and Market Colors which produce handbags, purses, and jewelry made by native artisans. The proceeds from sold items go back to the artisans so they can provide for their families.
                                                                                              Proceeds of Deux Mains purses go to local artisans and their families
5. Online Shopping That Gives Back. Many of us turn to online shopping for loved ones who want the latest and greatest tech gadgets or toys. Did you also know you can make a donation with your online purchases through Amazon Smile? When you sign into your Amazon Smile account, select Children of the Nations or another nonprofit of your choice. With Amazon Smile, a percentage of your purchase is donated to the designated nonprofit. 
                                                                                                        Amazon Smile donates a percentage of purchases to charity
6. Grow Your Family. Sponsoring a child is a powerful gift that transforms the life of a child and blesses your family. With $39 a month, you can give nutritious meals, an education, and essential medical and spiritual care to a child. Sponsoring a child changes the trajectory of a child's life, empowering them to transform their nation.

                                                                                                                          A child and her sponsor  
There are many ways your family can make a difference this Christmas season. Best of all, it doesn’t take much to change a child’s or family’s life for the better. So in the midst of your Christmas festivities, why not spread some extra joy?