Giving back this holiday season

This post is sponsored through my partnership with Bitsy’s Brainfood. 

This is such a fun, magical and lovely season. I’ve always been obsessed with the holidays, and find that it’s even more enjoyable now that we can share it with little ones. Now that Liv really *gets* it, each passing year seems to be much more fun. I love the opportunity to create memories and traditions with our little family, and also teach them that during a time that consists of giving and receiving, it’s important to remain thankful for our blessings throughout the year.

There are a lot of things I want to teach our kiddos. Most of all, I want to teach them to be kind, polite, and responsible, and the value of giving to others who need it. With Liv, we started to teach her about giving to others when she was really young, even when she didn’t really know what’s going on. Now, she knows that on her half birthday, we pack up toys she no longer plays with to donate to other kids who don’t have as many toys. She’s with us when we drive packed-up leftovers to drop off to someone at the beach. And during this holiday season, I feel like she understands the ability to pack up nonperishable food and take it over to the food bank.

Give a bitsy back

When Bitsy’s Brainfood sent us a case of snacks to share with our favorite organization, I knew I wanted to take it over to Feeding America, along with some bags of nonperishable foods. Liv and I packed up cans of tuna, jars of peanut butter, and soup, along with the case of Bitsy’s Brainfood to donate. While we packed it up, we talked about how we’re fortunate to have access to healthy foods when we’re hungry, and the importance of sharing food with others who need it. 

Give a bitsy back 2

Give a bitsy back 3

I’m always looking for small ways to give back, especially since I don’t have a lot of time right now to volunteer. During the holidays, Liv and I head down to the Humane Society and pay the adoption fee for a few animals (usually choosing the oldest ones or those who have been there the longest). We also like picking a star from the Angel Tree to pick gifts for someone else. 

This year, I knew I wanted to do something I had seen floating around Facebook: fill a purse to share with someone who needs it.

Kindness purse

Here’s the idea:

Take a purse you no longer use, and fill it with feminine hygiene products, snacks, some cash, and anything else you can think of, and share it with someone who needs it. I filled this purse with feminine items, snacks, socks, toiletries, a pair of super warm gloves, chapstick, and some cash. After I took the pic, I added a toothbrush, a small tube of sunscreen and a razor.

Kindness purse 2

I’m going to take it with us while we run errands this afternoon. On our drive to Trader Joe’s, I often see a woman holding a sign and would like to give it to her if she’s out there today.

This is a simple way to share some necessities and holiday spirit with those experiencing hard times. You could certainly do something similar for men by filling a gym bag with essentials and snacks.

One of the many reasons I love Bitsy’s Brainfood is their philanthropical mission: Giving a Bitsy Back. The founders of Bitsy’s Brainfood actually met while working at a nonprofit focused on educating children about the importance of volunteering and giving. By Giving a Bitsy Back, they share cases of their products with organizations and schools (preschools and elementary) that need it. For them, it’s not just about sharing the product, but about sharing their mission with as many as possible to make educated and healthy food choices. I love that Bitsy’s Brainfood teaches kids that healthy food can be fun, and also injects learning into their snacks through their letter shapes. Liv and I love to spell and make letter sounds during snack time. If you’d like to learn more about this mission, or apply on behalf of a school or organization, check out the info here. 

What’s something you do to give back during the holiday season, or any time during the year? How do you teach your kiddos to give to others, or something your parents did with you?

I hope everyone has a wonderful afternoon! See ya tomorrow with the first of our Favorite Things giveaways.



This post was sponsored by my friends at Bitsy’s Brainfood. Thank you for supporting this blog and the companies who help to support our family. 

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  1. RachelG on November 30, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    I absolutely love the purse idea! Last Summer when we were in san francisco the husband and I ordered enough food from a dim sum restaurant for about 10 people (didn’t realize that each order had about 2-4 pieces…woops!). Because we had seen so many homeless people in the city we took the leftovers and gave them to a homeless man near our hotel. Always wonderful to find the spontaneous moments in life where you can give back. 🙂

  2. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on November 30, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    I usually go to St. Mary’s food bank to help load holiday food for the needy. I love the purse idea! I have a lot of purses I no longer use.

  3. Amber conger on November 30, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    I love that idea! It got me a lil teary eyed and I am def going to do a purse!

  4. m on November 30, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    when we travel, i always try to keep some spare change, or extra snacks to handout to families on the street. however, my parents have seen a lot of corruption growing up, and its hard to know which people are “faking” it.
    i try to give the benefit of the doubt, but that;s why i always try and give food (or any items) instead of money.

    (btw do you eat bitsy’s too?! it looks so good! haha)

    • mary on November 30, 2015 at 7:50 pm

      It is hard to know who’s really in need and who’s panhandling for drug money so I tend to give more to Salvation Army and orgs that help people in need. I’ve seen people give goods or food to panhandlers and the recipient immediately just starts trying to sell it for cash, hardly waiting til the giver has driven off. Or sometimes they balk at the giver saying they don’t want any damn food or supplies or referrals, they want cash.

  5. Candice on November 30, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    I love the purse idea! I live in Portland, OR and there are quite a few homeless people near my office. This is a great idea as I am not always comfortable handing over cash, but want to help. Thanks so much for the inspiration!!

  6. Sasha on November 30, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    I love the purse idea. I have so many that I don’t use and in the past I’ve given them away – unfilled. But filling them up with some personal, essential items is such a great idea!

    I love seeing Livi’s different braids and hairstyles in her pictures – you’re very talented!

  7. Jessica on December 1, 2015 at 5:46 am

    The purse idea is amazing!

  8. Sagan on December 1, 2015 at 5:50 am

    I LOVE the purse idea—hadn’t heard of that one before!

    So good that you’re teaching her from an early age to have compassion. It’s frustrating to see how few people as adults take the time to learn about systems of poverty and class issues… good to start the next generation early!

  9. Courtni H on December 1, 2015 at 6:34 am

    I LOVE THIS POST! And all of these ideas. As a mom of a teeny tiny myself, I am always looking for more ways that I can show her how important is it to help others, rather than just telling her.

  10. lisa on December 1, 2015 at 7:16 am

    My neighborhood does something similar.
    We all get together to assemble “blessing bags”
    We fill gallon sized ziplock bags with single serve non perishables, hygiene products, and other essentials and than we hand them out throughout the month.
    This year we made over 300!

  11. Jill on December 1, 2015 at 10:26 am

    I love the purse idea! I volunteer with the Ronald McDonald House, in their family room inside a hospital near the NICU. It’s incredibly fulfilling and always helps puts my problems in perspective. Love that you are raising Liv to give back.

  12. Julie on December 1, 2015 at 11:06 am

    I love the purse idea, but even more than that I LOVE that you pay the adoption fee for pets at the ARL! I’ve never heard of anyone doing that before. Love love love it!

  13. Tracy on December 1, 2015 at 11:37 am

    This year instead of exchanging gifts we are buying Jimmy Johns sammies and taking them downtown to distribute!

    I love the purse idea, too!

  14. Cassie on December 1, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    As a hopeless animal lover, I love the idea of paying some adoption fees.

  15. Vanessa on December 1, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Awww I just loved the idea of paying the adoption fees on the older dogs or ones who have been there the longest, what a beautiful idea. I always donate dog beds and blankets at Christmas time for the colder winter months, and food and toys that they need. The purse idea is also a great one that I am going to do for someone around here. Just really a great post overall! <3

  16. Crystal on December 1, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    That purse idea is great! What a valuable lesson you’re teaching your children, I think it’s so important for them to learn this at a young age. My dad always told me that it’s good to donate your time or your money, whichever you have more of 🙂

    Every year at Christmas we make a larger donation to Operation Homefront, which assists military families who are struggling with financial difficulties. It’s an organization that’s close to my heart; I was an Air Force kid, plus a lot of my friends and family members serve in the military.

  17. Bethany on December 1, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    This makes me heart smile!

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