In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to forget the importance of giving. Holiday service projects for kids is an easy ways to foster at an early age why it’s important to give to others, and not just receive gifts for ourselves during this time.
The concept of giving is something our family is very passionate about. Let me give you a recent example…
For Veteran’s Day, we visited our local Veteran’s Hospital. The goal was to provide a meal to those who had fought for our country as well as the wonderful staff who takes care of them. I wanted my son to experience firsthand what it felt like to make another person happy. I wanted him to understand respect, compassion, and a servant’s heart.
As a group, we brought rotisserie chicken, fresh fruit, cheese, and dessert to share. We carefully made up plates for each of the veterans in the Hospice care wing, and served them lunch. We chatted with these sweet retired servicemen. We listened to their stories. We loved on them. They were more than elated to have a listening ear and a warm heart.
We inquired if these sweet men had many visitors. To our dismay, the nurses replied that no one had ever taken the time to have a party for their department — veterans nor the workers. We all left with a smile on our face and warmth in our hearts, including the boys. This is when I knew that we needed to spend more time helping and serving others this holiday season!
Here are some simple holiday service projects for kids:
1. Visit a nursing home. A small gift basket can include soap, lotion, small blanket, socks, snacks (check with the staff first to make sure this is allowed), word search booklets, and holiday decorations. Include a handmade cards by the kids. One of the biggest treats is watching their faces as they unwrap their gifts!
2. Volunteer your time at the local animal shelter.
3. Play board games with the visitors at your local Senior Citizens Center.
4. Bring a meal to the staff and patrons at the emergency room or veteran’s hospital. Check with the staff beforehand, to make sure it is permitted in your area.
5. Hand out gum and bottled water on your community center’s basketball courts.
6. Donate craft supplies or old video games to the Children’s Hospital. Or wrap up unwanted gifts that you received this holiday season and donate them as gifts back to the children.
7. Give old children’s books to your local library or Head Start program. Then stick around to read some of your donations to the kids… they will treasure it!
8. Send cards or care packages to deployed servicemen.
9. Plant a tree in your neighborhood. (Don’t forget to water it while it is getting established in the ground.)
10. Set out food and water for the birds, squirrels, and other animals.
11. Donate stuffed animals to the police or fire departments — they can use these to cheer up children who may be frightened.
12. Bake cookies and other sweets, to give to the trash collection men and postal workers.
13. Collect canned goods from your neighbors and donate to a local food bank.
14. Help sort donations collected at the Salvation Army, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity ReStore or Samaritan’s Purse.
What other holiday service project ideas do you do with your kids?