Holidays are a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and friends. But they can also be a great time to demonstrate compassion and kindness, whether it’s donating food for a homeless shelter or toys for children in need. Volunteering during the holidays not only helps those who are less fortunate but also teaches your kids the value of giving back. Here are some ideas on how you can volunteer your time and services as a family during the holiday season.
12 Ways To Volunteer as a Family During the Holidays
1. Find a Local Toy Drive
Participate in a community toy drive by asking around at work, your church, school, or through social media. Purchase, wrap, and deliver gifts to a local non-profit to help families that are struggling.
2. Create a Local Food Drive
Get together with your friends and family to collect non-perishable food and donate it to a local food pantry. You can get your kids involved by having them decorate the food boxes or helping you load the car and carry the groceries.
3. Make Holiday Cards
Create handmade holiday cards for seniors in assisted living facilities, veterans, incarcerated youth, victims of domestic violence, or military families. Your kids will be delighted to see the joy on someone’s face when they open their special card!
4. Give a Homeless Shelter a Facelift
Organize a food or storage room for the local homeless shelter, or help out by cleaning. This can be as simple as arranging donated clothes by size and color or as big as moving furniture around and painting walls. Shelters always need a lot of help, so just ask what you can do to serve.
5. Help Out at Your Local Soup Kitchen
Prepare and serve meals, greet guests at the doors, or set up tables for a local soup kitchen. Your kids will be able to see the difference they are making in their own neighborhood and be grateful for the chance to give back.
6. Sponsor a Family
Churches and businesses frequently provide giving trees. You may also purchase presents for families that have requested them by selecting a tag from the tree. Or you may want to donate to a cause that offers hope for families in need, such as The Salvation Army.
7. Make Care Packages
Gather some toiletries, school supplies, warm socks, and gloves to create care packages for a homeless shelter or a local foster family. Assembling food baskets is another wonderful activity for everyone involved.
8. Make a Holiday Meal
Bake some Christmas cookies or a holiday meal to share with an elderly neighbor who doesn’t have family nearby. Nothing says holidays like a family dinner at your house!
9. Donate Toys and Clothes
Help your kids clean out their outgrown clothes or toys they don’t play with anymore. Donate whatever you are able to a local charity or shelter to help others.
Offer to help a single mother or stay-at-home-mom with her children so she can go out and enjoy a well-deserved break. Having new friends to play with will be enjoyable for your kids too.
11. Throw a Holiday Block Party
Invite the neighbors to come and bring canned food items to donate to a local food pantry. Create some decorations with the kids, pass out some candy canes, and have a blast!
12. Send a Care Package to a Soldier
Sending a holiday care package is one of the best ways to show appreciation for our troops. You can learn more about this opportunity through Operation Gratitude.
Benefits of Volunteering With Your Family
Taking time to volunteer with your family can be a fantastic experience for both adults and children. It also teaches your kids the values of kindness and generosity.
When you volunteer as a family, you don’t have to worry about finding someone to watch your kids for the day. Instead, you get the chance to spend meaningful time with them. Volunteering is also a great way for kids to learn beyond what they see in their classrooms. They get to explore new worlds and meet new people with different backgrounds. It’s an opportunity for them to try new things and broaden their horizons!
Since holidays are meant to be enjoyed with the people that you love, find ways throughout the season to help those in need. Volunteering with your family is a wonderful way to develop a closer relationship while also having fun. By creating new traditions with your children around the holidays, they will grow up knowing the true meaning of giving back.
Have you tried one of these ideas or do you have a favorite way to volunteer with your family during the holidays? Share it with the rest of the community on our Facebook page!