The spirit of ‘giving’ is all around us at this time of year—which makes it is an excellent time to teach even very young children about the benefits of giving back to others in their neighborhoods through community service activities. Volunteering within the community helps children learn to:
• respect others
• be helpful and kind
• understand people who are different from themselves
• develop leadership skills
• become more patient
• gain a better understanding of good citizenship
If you’re looking for some ideas, check out the list below for inspiration!
1. Book Drive
Collect books throughout the year to donate to local homeless shelters, children’s hospitals, and more. Be on the lookout for information about Georgetown Hill’s Book Drive coming in January 2020!
2. Cards for Soldiers
Writing cards to servicemen and women overseas during the holidays (and throughout the year) is a great way to support our troops while also giving you an opening for talking about history, social studies, geography, and more.
3. Penny Drive
Find a penny pick it up, all year long you’ll save enough! Collect pennies throughout the year and at the end of the year, donate the money to a charity that your children agree on. You might also want to check out the Penny Harvest website for some ideas about what to do with those pennies.
4. For Dogs and Cats!
Local animal shelters and rescue groups are always in need of newspapers, old towels and blankets, and pet food donations.
5. “Birthday Boxes”
Put cake mix, frosting, candles, and perhaps a few toys in a box. Then donate it to a local food pantry for those families in need of a birthday cake. If you use a plain box, your kids can decorate it with coloring, stickers, or even the fronts of old cards.
6. Spend Time with Seniors
Many seniors love spending time with children and children love spending time with them. Singing, playing instruments, playing BINGO, dancing, writing letters, or doing any sort of art are all activities that kids can participate in with seniors at a nursing home.
7. Adopt an Animal
The World Wildlife Foundation’s Adopt-an-Animal program uses monetary donations to support their global efforts to protect wild animals and their habitats. When you make a donation, the organization will send you a plush animal to take care of at home, too!
8. Collect Warm Coats
Collect new or gently worn winter coats and donate them to One Warm Coat, which provides winter coats to those in need. Go through your own closets and ask family and neighbors if they have coats to donate.
9. Create Movie Nights
Collect DVD’s and videogames you no longer use/watch and donate them to a Children’s Hospital for patients.
10. Feed the Firefighters
You can bring meals to your local firehouse to honor and support the hard work that they do to keep us safe!
Try one or try them all; you’ll be glad you did!