Thanks to Ralph’s for helping us give back by providing gift cards for us to donate to a family in need this holiday season #LoveMyRalphs
For many, giving back during the holiday season can feel overwhelming or confusing. Where to give? How to give? What to give? Is it enough? These are all questions I’ve asked myself many times. If you don’t have a regular charity that you give to it’s hard to decide with the flurry of requests.
The best answer is give in a way that makes you feel good. Whatever that may be. For about as many years as I can remember, our family has embraced a family here in San Diego for the holiday season. It’s not something I usually talk about publicly, it’s just a small thing we do that quite frankly brings me great joy while helping a family in need and giving my own children a reminder that their normal is not everyone’s normal.
Each year I sign up around October and in early November we are matched with a family. The local charity I chose to work with allows you to choose a family size you are comfortable with and give any other preferences you may have. I tend to ask for a family with younger children so Kayla can participate in the gift purchasing and have it feel relatable.
This year our family is a husband, wife and their two year old son. Which pulls at my heart strings because Blake is the same age. Their wish list for him? Warm clothes, underwear for potty training and any educational toys.
Their wish lists for themselves? Warm clothes and grocery gift cards they can use to purchase food. The organization will often list a for the parents which grocery store they visit that is close to their home or a big box retailer that is close to their home. For this family, it was Ralphs for groceries.
And my face lit up upon reading it because if you’ve been following along for a while then you know that not only is Ralphs a store my husband visits multiple times a week since it’s across the street from his gym and a place where my kids love to go because they know the deli manager and always get a friendly greeting.
Ralphs also happens to be a sponsor of my blog since they are a natural fit to our lives as a busy young family. So I asked my contact if Ralphs would be willing to donate a grocery gift card to this family so that I could use the funds I would normally allot for that on additional warm clothes and toys for the family.
Their answer was a very quick and enthusiastic YES! In fact they offered to provide one gift card for me to shop for some essentials to include with the gifts we were amassing and another much larger gift card to help the family throughout the year.
So Kayla and I went shopping at our local Ralphs and I continue to be impressed by the things you can find there that you might not think to visit a grocery store for. I stocked up on kids plates, flatware and snack containers from Replay Recycled. They are the same ones we use in our own home for our kids and they’re durable, cheery, inexpensive and made from recycled milk jugs. Ralphs also has amazing prices on them – better than buying them from everyone’s favorite easy online retailer.
We bought tissues because tiny noses tend to run in the winter months, new toothbrushes and toothpaste for each family member. We grabbed some stocking stuffer toys for the little boy and a couple of accessories to go with his new play kitchen from Step2 (more on that later)
The last thing we bought was batteries! While I tend to only give and ask for toys that don’t require batteries there are a few out there that I adore which need them. I love Leapfrog’s learning toys for toddlers since they actually provide educational content and our Step2 kitchen needed some batteries for the burner on the stove to make noise. I am always so grateful when a gift giver includes batteries with a gift because there is nothing like a small child who wants to play with their new toy and cannot while you desperately look for batteries. Plus, for a family in need, batteries are expensive!
There are so many ways to give back this holiday season. Pick up some canned or boxed goods to donate to a food drive. Buy a gift card and donate it to a local charity. Buy a gift card and pay it forward by giving it to someone you think can use it. No matter how big or small, these acts of kindness all add up to a better world!