It’s that time of year again!

Beginnings. A fresh start. Imaginings. Goals. Intentions.

New year Resolutions.

I want to share with you some ideas for family-centered resolutions that can make a difference, right here in Lane County. These ideas encourage quality family time, build empathy for fellow community members, and teach kids that they can make a positive impact in another person’s life.

Donate food.

I suggest having a monthly budget, even as small as $5 or $10. Go to the bargain bins at grocery stores, have your kids pick out a few items (bonus: they get to practice their math skills!), and then deliver them together to The Mission, Occupy Medical, or any of the Food for Lane County bins. Make a resolution to do this every month.

Plant some seeds.

Agribusiness has massive negative impacts on the environment and people all over the world, especially people of color. If you are new to gardening start with just one plant. Pick a family favorite vegetable or fruit. Kids love to plant seeds, transplant starts, and water. If you can plant extra seeds, you can gift them to your family, friends, or neighbors. Make a family outing out of pulling starts around in a wagon and making offerings. Not only will you be saving them money but you will be enabling them to participate less in agribusiness. Additionally, as a family you can make trips to places to donate extra produce that your garden produces. Check out Food not Bombs and Burrito Brigade.

Start a drive.

Pick an item, like socks or toothbrushes, and collect them all year. Have your kids decorate the collection box and be in charge of storage. Make a family goal and then come up with some creative ways of meeting that goal. Ask friends and family to skip the birthday cards and holiday cards and donate to your drive instead. Maybe ask neighbors for their cans and as a family return them and purchase items for your drive. Donate your collected items at the end of 2018 to places like First Place Family Center, The Mission, the Eugene Service Station, Occupy Medical, or WomenSpace.

Build community.

Make a resolution to invite a neighbor over each month for dinner. Perhaps ask the elderly neighbor that lives alone, the family that just moved to town, or the single mom that can use the evening off. Have the kids help in meal planning, shopping, meal prep, and house cleaning. This is a simple way to build community with your neighbors. Just by getting to know each other more, you enrich your lives and theirs.

Volunteer your time.

Pick a place that your family would like to volunteer at regularly, perhaps weekly or monthly (whatever is feasible for your family). Some places to consider are the GrassRoots Garden, the Mission, The Dining Room, or Burrito Brigade.

Give away stuff.

Each month as a family, pick a room in the house. Go through it and put aside items you are no longer using, or never did. If you have an area that is going to take some work (like the garage), spread the fun over a couple months. Take pictures of the stuff that is still usable and in good shape and post for FREE on Craigslist or Facebook or something like that. There is likely a person or family that could really use it and would be appreciative. Bonus: your house gets de-cluttered over the year!

What are some ways that your family likes to make a difference in our community? Let’s share ideas!


This article was submitted by Rowan Renee, Eugene parent of two and author of the local parenting blog, “Activist Parenting” ( Occasionally LankeKids likes to present other parenting voices from our community. The views, opinions and beliefs expressed are their own, and do not necessarily represent those of LaneKids, United Way of Lane County, or any of its partners or affiliates.