Volunteer – Discover charitable activities to do as a family

Habitat for Humanity

The holiday season means spending quality time with family. Why not spend the time volunteering together? Volunteering together in your community can be a fun and unforgettable experience for everyone in your family, regardless of age or skill level. Choose a charitable activity that holds special meaning for your family, or read below to get a few ideas.

1) Organize a clothing drive

Start a clothing drive in your school or neighborhood asking people to donate gently used clothing. Even the smallest of children can participate by sorting the clothes (girl’s clothing from boy’s clothing, big clothes from small clothes, etc).

2) “Trick or Treat” for canned goods

Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean kids can’t trick or treat anymore. Distribute flyers in your neighborhood letting people know that kids will be coming around at a set time and date “trick or treating” for canned and non-perishable goods. Costumes are optional.

3) Give out food at a soup kitchen

Volunteer your time at a soup kitchen where you and your family can help give others a wonderful holiday meal. Or you can volunteer at a food bank. “Volunteering to help at local county food bank and delivering “food care baskets” to the elderly (shut-ins) makes yah feel good inside to help those who are less fortunate,” says nicetry, a MySears member.

4) Work at an animal shelter

Help out by walking the animals, cleaning up after them and giving them baths. Even just the small act of holding and playing with the animals can make a huge difference.

5) Wrap gifts for donations

Many stores will allow people to set up gift wrapping stations to wrap customers’ purchases in exchange for donations to a charity. “4 friends and I go to our local mall and wrap Christmas presents with the proceeds going to the local Homeless shelter,” Quaniq says. Try contacting your local book store to see if you can start a gift wrapping booth. Young kids can help with the tape.

6) Build a house through Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is a great way to spend quality time with your family while helping another family in need. Though, this charitable activity might be better suited for families with older children.

7) Share Christmas cheer with the elderly

Help a senior citizen with grocery shopping, play some bingo or just spend some time chatting. The whole family can have a lot of fun, while bringing some sunshine to the elderly during the holidays. “I also help organize a group of random people to Christmas Carol to the shut Ins in our community,” Quaniq says.

8) Make Thanksgiving food baskets

“A few times I helped out with food baskets for Thanksgiving and that was nice,” PaulaTrz says. “People gathered at my house where I had all the food set out by category and they’d go around in a circle grabbing one from each pile and assembling it in the boxes. The little kids would decorate the boxes with markers and stickers. When we were all done they’d go deliver the boxes to people who needed the food.”

9) “Adopt” a family for Thanksgiving or Christmas

Give a family a holiday dinner or gifts they may not have otherwise received. “Weaver Beavers (our outreach) has selected a family to adopt for Thanksgiving, and one for Christmas and we always choose a Salvation Army child as well,” says houdiniphile on MyKmart.

10) Donate to a charity that holds special meaning to your family

The holiday season can be busy, so if your family can’t find the time to go out and volunteer, donating to a worthy organization might be the way to go. Sit down as a family and choose a charity that holds special meaning to your family together. This might be Heroes at Home or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Or it could be helping the animals or sponsoring a child in a third world country.

There are countless ways to volunteer with your family. Have other ideas? Share them with the community. Whatever charitable activity you and your family decide to do means quality, rewarding (and free!) time to bond with your loved ones. Happy holidays!


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