The holidays are a great time to volunteer in your community, or to simply spread some cheer! Here are some ways you and your kids can help others this month.
Help Feed Someone
One of the most popular ways to volunteer around Christmas time is by serving in a soup kitchen or with an organization like Feed My Starving Children, which packages meals for children in other countries. This is a great way for families to serve together. If you’re interested, you can find a local soup kitchen near you, and sign up for a time to serve! Or, if you’re looking for something less time-consuming, you can also donate to your local food bank. Give on your own, or organize a food collection at your school or church. This is something you can do one time or all month long! Even making a meal for someone can be a great way to serve. For example, cook a dinner for a college student, the elderly, or someone dealing with health issues. Never underestimate the power of good food!
Send Presents Overseas
Many children in other countries don’t have the opportunity to receive presents or celebrate the holidays each year. But some organizations are working to remedy that. For example, through Operation Christmas Child you can pack a shoebox of toys and useful items and bring joy to a child across the world. Some families make this an annual tradition, with each member of the family packing their own shoebox. You can also consider giving to an organization that helps military families, such as Toys for Tots. This project serves U. S. Marines and their families, specifically.
Keep It Simple
Not everyone has the time to volunteer or the budget to donate and purchase gifts. If you find yourself in this situation, there are other ways you can encourage and serve people! For example, the simple things matter, like thanking those who do volunteer, baking cookies for someone, or even writing a letter to a family member or friend. You can also donate lightly-worn clothes, shoes, and other items to a homeless shelter. Take some time with your children to go through your closets and pick some items to donate today.
The simplest of kind acts, or a couple hours of your day, can make a big difference in someone’s life. It also teaches kids important lessons about service, and is a great way to make memories together.