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Joanne Fritz

Charitable Holiday Fun for Your Child's To-Do List

By December 8, 2011

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Just thinking about gingerbread houses and writing letters to Santa makes me warm and reminds me of holidays past.

Today, kids are wired and sometimes mature beyond their years. But, fortunately, the old fashioned can be combined with high tech to meet the needs of kids who still love high touch activities as much as interacting with their computers and mobile devices. Two charities have tapped into holiday nostalgia this year with fundraising campaigns that both give and connect.

Just Believe

Macy's Believe Campaign

Macy's has proven that writing letters to Santa is as popular as ever. After all, their 'Believe' campaign is in its fourth year and is rapidly becoming a holiday icon.

'Believe' is based on the beloved "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" editorial of 1897. Macy's facilitates letters to Santa with the "Believe Stations" in its stores throughout the country and donates $1 to the Make a Wish Foundation for every letter received (up to $1 million). On December 9th, the match will be doubled.

Your children can participate by visiting a Macy's store and mailing a stamped letter to "Santa At The North Pole" in the red mailbox. They can even create the letter online and print it out. An added bonus is the mobile app you can download to a smart phone. Do it before visiting the store, and your children can take photos of themselves visiting the display and its cute characters, and then print out holiday cards to share with friends and family.

Macy's is fully engaged in the 'Believe' campaign. There is even a Santa National Bus Tour, and special events in various cities. The festivities started with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but there is still time to get involved and get those letters off to Santa.

Gingerbread Houses Make a Home

Ronald McDonald House Charities Holiday Campaign

After you write that letter to Santa, look into the Ronald McDonald House Season of Giving campaign to find out how you can help ill children and their families by decorating a gingerbread house online.

It must be so hard to have a sick child in the hospital over the holidays, especially if you're away from home.

That's where the Ronald McDonald Houses and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms step in to help. The staff and volunteers there go above and beyond the call of duty to make the Ronald McDonald Houses more like homes.

To help, the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is encouraging its supporters to donate (any amount, large or small) and then decorate a RMHC gingerbread house, right online.

It's simple -- Donate, decorate and then share on Facebook. The application makes the whole process simple as can be. You can see an example of a decorated gingerbread house in the photo accompanying this post. I won't show you the one that I did. I was pretty clumsy with the icing tool!

I don't know about you, but just the thought of gingerbread makes my mouth water. After building a gingerbread house online, you and the kids might want to bake a real gingerbread house, gingerbread man, or at least some cookies.

Learn more about helping your children be charitable this year with these resources:

Photos Courtesy of Macy's and RMHC

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