The Christmas season is upon us and I bet many of our kids are thinking about what presents they would like this season.

As parents we are our children’s first teachers. We are the ones that help instill their values, morals, and life teachings. This holiday season let’s challenge ourselves and teach our children ways they can give back to their community.


Giving back to others in our community can be a huge benefit for families. Families who give together spend quality time and share values while going through the process of giving back, teaching your child empathy and generosity as well as learning about local resources together. Giving back also gives your child a sense of empowerment when they get to help make decision about who they would want to give back to and what to give. This also empowers fuels children’s self-esteem by showing them that they can make a difference and they have something to contribute to their community.

As human beings we’re wired to respond to generosity. Our brains are full of a special kind of neuron called mirror neurons. Mirror neurons fire like crazy not only when someone smiles at us or does a kind act for us, but also when we witness a kind act performed for someone else. Why do people sometimes feel so giddy and full of good will around the holidays? Mirror neurons! And that means that if we perform and witness kind acts year round, the beneficial boost lasts all year too!

Where Can My Family Give?

There are many places in your local area you can help donate your time or items for others. Some good places to ask are your local Senior Centers (Bishop, Big Pine, Independence, Lone Pine, Tecopa), and churches. Families can look online and search for different organizations to give to such as Locks of Love. Your child can even host a birthday party with ECHOage, a website that allows your child to pick a charity of their choice. Half of the money that they raise goes to the charity you choose and the other half goes to a birthday gift of your child’s choice. Below are some other local suggestions.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army in Inyo County is accepting food donations year-round. Salvation Army also has Christmas trees at Kmart and Ace Hardware in Bishop where your family can pick up a child’s Christmas gift wish. They are also looking for families to donate 2 hours of their time to bell ring for donations at certain places like Kmart and Vons with Salvation Army’s red collection buckets Monday through Friday. Give them a call for more information or visit them at the address below.

Salvation Army – (760) 872-2124

621 W. Line Street #106

Bishop, CA 93514


IMACA is also accepting food items for their food pantry year-round at their main building. Through their Child Development and Family Services, IMACA has a Christmas Wish Tree set up at multiple locations this year. The Wish Tree locations are: Great Basin Bakery, El Dorado Savings Bank in Bishop and Lone Pine, Lone Pine Pharmacy, Infinite Hair Salon, Alta One Credit Union, Mountain Light Gallery, The Inyo Register, Studio 27, Eastern Sierra Community Bank, and Simplicity Salon. IMACA also helps with adopting a family for Christmas which can entail buying a family a Christmas tree, or gifts for the whole family. Please contact Kathy at the Child Development and Family Services building at the phone number below for more information.

IMACA- (760) 873-8557 (Main Building)

137 E. South Street

Bishop, CA 93514


IMACA Child Development and Family Services

Kathy (760) 873-3001

180 Clarke Street

PO Box 845

Bishop, CA 93514

First 5- Inyo County

First 5 Inyo County is accepting diaper donations of all sizes especially sizes 3, 4, and 5 for their Diaper Depot. These diapers go to families in need as diapers are expensive but a major necessity for children who are not toilet trained. First 5 is also accepting new or gently used toys for their annual Free Toy Shop for families who are low income. Please drop off any donations at the address below.

First 5- Inyo County

Jody (760) 873-6453 or Melissa (760) 873-4159

568 W. Line Street

Bishop, CA 93514

Bishop Indian Head Start

BIHS is also setting up a Christmas tree with BIHS student Christmas wishes. Their tree will be at the Bishop Paiute Tribe office. Please call Susie Cisneros with any questions.

Bishop Indian Head Start- (760) 872-3911

405 N. Barlow Lane

Bishop, Ca 93514


This holiday season let’s share give the gift of generosity, showing our children how they can make a difference.