While you may have considered many different community service ideas for your family, you might have run into the problem that not all are age appropriate. Selecting a volunteering opportunity for your family requires that the opportunity be fun, safe and kid friendly. Below are five volunteering ideas for your family during the holidays.
1. Stick Close to Home
Many charities have volunteer jobs which can be done from home. These jobs range from creating flyers to advertising special events hosted by the charity to creating gift baskets of food or clothing for needy families. This type of volunteer opportunity permits your whole family to participate in the fun, but requires very little travel or time set aside for the project. Contact local charity organizations and see what they need help with. These opportunities will allow your entire family to be involved, including small children.
2. Contact Local Ladies Groups
Women's volunteer organizations often host holiday charity events, such as a party for underprivileged children. It is likely that children will be permitted to volunteer and that the event will be safe. These events will allow your children to help other children or even participate themselves in the fun.
3. Scour Your Neighborhood
Many times, members of your neighborhood may be in need of assistance. Consider whether any elderly, handicapped or other needy individuals live in your area and if you could somehow bring them joy over the holidays. Perhaps you could invite the needy individuals over to your house for a meal or bring them a meal that your family cooked together. Another great idea is to help decorate a senior citizen's home with Christmas lights. This activity will be fun for you and your children and make the recipient smile. Don't be surprised if you're offered cookies when you return to take the lights down after the holidays.
4. Visit Your Local Senior Center
Your local senior center or retirement home will likely have many volunteer opportunities for families. These opportunities range from helping during a holiday party to making Saturday visits or even to helping decorate group living spaces. Additionally, these spaces will be safe for you and your family. Senior residents, too, will love having your children nearby to spice up the holidays.
5. Adopt a Family
If you have been unsuccessful in finding a volunteering opportunity for your family, consider adopting a needy family over the holidays. Many churches and schools support entire families over the holidays; contact them to see if you can help with giving another family a great holiday. Your participation could include preparing a meal, giving gifts or even purchasing a Christmas tree and decorations for the other family. Before shopping, however, make it clear that the purchases are intended for another family and that what your children choose will go to another child in need; this will prevent you from having some upset children when their chosen gifts aren't later received.