As the holidays quickly approach, the month of December fills up fast. While it is difficult to even consider putting another THING onto the calendar, Daily Mom challenges each of you to add something MEANINGFUL to your life. Have you been thinking about starting a tradition in which your family has fun helping others? There are so many options out there, but so much red tape when children are involved. There is also the question of which charities put their money where their mottos lie and don’t get bogged down with overhead costs. Daily Mom did the research for you! Take a look at some of these kid-friendly service projects and decide what can work best for your family and area.
FAMILY TO FAMILY
Since it was created in 2009, Family-to-Family has been putting those who can help in touch with those in need. They are currently at work in 29 communities in 18 states, and hoping to grow each year. The mission is simple: Linking families with “more” to families with profoundly less. The best part of their organization is that they have taken the time to break down all of the options to help. This is a wonderful opportunity for kids to volunteer in a service project. From giving parties to book club pen pals, Family-to-Family offers a wide range of project ideas and includes detailed information on their website on each.
If you are looking for a hands-on donation that will have an immediate impact on a family in need with no overhead costs streamlining elsewhere, this is a great choice. Family to Family has a 5-star rating on Great Non-Profits.
There are currently 164 heroes waiting to be adopted through Soldiers’ Angels. These heroes are military and veteran families that live on a tight budget while protecting our rights and freedoms. Families can choose to adopt a hero during the holidays and pledge a stocking with a card. This stocking will be filled with gifts of your family’s choosing and mailed directly to a soldier who is deployed. This is a great option for a family to consider, because kids of all ages can assist in making the card. Also, family members can choose from a list of approved items to put in the stocking and enjoy shopping for the items together. Another option is to adopt-a-family. This service project for kids would allow you to get in touch with the family that you are adopting and find out about the children’s interests and likes. Then, as a family, let your kids help pick out the gifts that will go to this courageous family during the holidays. Team Angels serve virtually and all work is done through mail. Soldiers’ Angels has a 4-star rating on Charity Navigator.
Operation Gratitude has sent 1,956,404 care packages to date. That number is climbing by the minute. This service project for kids impacts troops, veterans, first responders, and military families. By creating care packages for the people that are selflessly protecting our lives, we are showing our children the importance of these roles and the value of those who serve. Volunteers can decide as a family which products to donate to a care package by checking out their Express Your Thanks page.
Operation Gratitude has a 4-star rating on Charity Navigator.
DOING GOOD TOGETHER
Creating more kindness is the mission at Doing Good Together, and they do it through a variety of printables, projects, videos, and research-based research. Founded in 2004, Doing Good Together believes that when parents engage in community service, they instill the spirit of giving in the next generation. They have compiled several service based ideas for families to do together within their Pick a Project. From quick acts of kindness to social actions, there are ideas for all ages and interests.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SERVICE PROJECTS FOR KIDS
Not all service projects for kids needs to be huge and showy. They don’t need to be orchestrated by a larger group, nor do they need to have published fliers in order for a family to sign up. Some of the best, and most meaningful, can be organically created by your family members. Poll the kids to see what they feel passionate about. Sit down as a family and think about how you can help people in your neighborhood or extended family.
- Picking out favorite foods to donate to a Food Bank
- Spend an afternoon at a nursing home playing games, coloring pictures, and making new friends
- Volunteer at an animal shelter (age restrictions may apply), or donate used blankets to animal shelters
- Put together activity boxes or quiet bags to donate to a children’s hospital
- Cleaning out closets and toy rooms to donate to a local donation center
- Help a neighbor by shoveling snow or putting up their Christmas decorations
Kids may be little, but they are mighty with what they are capable of. With the innocence of a child, the determination of a giving family, and the passion of its members, children are able to make an impactful difference in the world they are growing up in. While tangible gifts come and go, the lessons learned from service projects will last a lifetime. Are you choosing from one of these service projects for kids? We would love to hear about what you do this year as a family! Comment below to let us know about your experiences.