The holidays are filled with cookie decorating, buying presents, spending time with family, as well as doing service in the community. Doing service for others can help someone in hardship, lifting their spirits and providing relief from hunger and cold. With the busyness of the holidays, it’s easy to put off or forget to serve others. So how can we focus and prioritize serving others this holiday season?
Even though it is generally a service-focused month, sometimes we need some new ideas to jump-start our imagination and come up with service-oriented activities that the whole family can enjoy doing together. Here’s a list of four service-oriented activities you can do with your entire family this holiday season.
Donate to clothing or toy drives
During December, there are usually lots of different clothing and toy drives going on. Select one near you, and then enlist your entire family to help donate. If you take your kids shopping with you they can help you pick out new toys or clothes for a family in need. After you select and purchase the items they can assist you with wrapping them with decorative paper. Another idea to get your kids involved is to encourage them to go through their unused or neglected toys and then donate them to a local shelter, school or church. Or you can go through your children’s old clothes with them and help them decide which clothes they don’t need anymore and donate them. When the whole family gets involved in a clothing or toy drive it can create fun family memories while also providing service.
Although making blankets sounds like a difficult task, in actuality it can be a very simple activity. All it takes are some fleece, scissors, and a set of willing hands. You could even invite friends over to help with this activity. After you’ve made a number of blankets, you can donate them to a local shelter or organization. The blankets your family makes will keep someone warm throughout the cold winter.
Complete random acts of kindness
One fun activity that you and your family can do is to complete random acts of kindness. This can include shoveling a walkway, helping someone with their groceries, or walking someone’s dog for them. The opportunities are endless—as long as your family keeps an eye out for moments they can serve. You can even write acts of service on small pieces of paper and put them in a bowl, letting different family members choose randomly which acts they will complete. That way, your family can bond over small and simple deeds of service.
Make food for a shelter or organization
Many shelters and non-profit organizations are in need of donated food, like sandwiches or snack packages. Often, they ask volunteers to make sack lunches to give to the homeless or hungry. You’ll need to go to the grocery store to buy ingredients, which your family can help you do. Then, your family can make sack lunches together. Afterward, you can deliver the food together. You’ll want to contact shelters and organizations individually to find out what their specific needs are. One organization, called Feed My Starving Children, has multiple locations in Illinois and focuses on feeding malnourished children. You can volunteer to fund and pack meals on their website. Additionally, there are many shelters near Lincolnshire, Illinois that you can contact about volunteering your time or donating food.
Serving around the holidays can brighten your home and help you feel the holiday spirit. It can help your family bond over small acts of kindness. You can even make new friends by inviting other people to serve with you. If you live in an apartment community, there can be many opportunities to be social and serve others. Think about these four service activities while you brainstorm ways your family can give back to the community. The service activity you select doesn’t need to be big and grandiose, it can be small and meaningful to you and your family.
444 Social encourages a social community that provides families with many opportunities to serve. Interested in learning more about our apartment community in Lincolnshire? Contact us here for more information.