This year I’m trying something different with my kids and I hope we stick with it every year to come. We are going to be donating to a local food shelter. We’ve donated toys and clothes to the school and a local church but never tried something I feel is very important.

There was a period in my life where I would cry as I counted out change to buy baby diapers. It was shortly after moving out of my parents house, I was receiving no child support, working for only $9 an hour and working less than 30 hours a week. I was embarrassed and didn’t want to ask anyone for help. There were times I’m sure my mom noticed because she would send me to the market for something and tell me to get myself the same thing and to keep the change. My parents also gave me gas money a few times. I didn’t want to ask for help but I got it.

After my son was born and my fiancé lost his job I instantly started to stress. Luckily we were able to get some type of state assistance. But not everyone qualifies and not everyone has someone around to help them. This year I’m wanting to teach this to my kids, I want them to understand how important it is for us to donate. I created a food drive list for my kids, I have bought most of the items ahead of time so that they can go around the kitchen and find that days item. So far the kids think it’s fun to go around to find the food and put it in our box, they have gotten exited now that it’s getting fuller each day. On some days I will have the kids add multiple items because we plan on dropping our box off a week before Thanksgiving.

Feel free to borrow from our list to add to yours and to start any time. You can even try this for the Winter holiday seasons. I have 28 items, since Thanksgiving is on the 28th, there are also non perishable items on my list which is accepted at our shelter. Check with yours before adding these items to your list.

1: Box of cereal

2: Boxed macaroni and cheese

3: Boxed/Packaged Mashed Potatoes

4: Stuffing Mix

5: Dessert Mix

6: Peanut Butter

7: Box of Crackers

8: Package of rice

9: Package of Oatmeal

10: Dry Pasta Noodles

11: Canned Fruit

12: Canned Tomatoes

13: Canned Tuna

14: Jar of Applesauce

15: Canned Sweet Potatoes

16: Cranberry Sauce

17: Canned Beans

18: Soup

19: Spaghetti Sauce

20: Tomato Soup

21: Canned Corn

22: Canned Carrots

23: Bottle of Apple Juice

24: 5 jars of baby food

25: Baby Formula

26: Onions

27: Bag of apples

28: One gallon of milk