Extending Your Heart and a Hand with Service Projects During the Holiday Season (and Beyond)

Service projects are a way to help others during the holiday season and beyond! They also teach our children to love and serve others instead of thinking of themselves.

HHM Extend Your Heart and Hand with Service Projects

I have always wanted to be a better example to my children as a servant to others, but in the recent years, I have allowed so much of us and life to get in our way. Despite that, we have served in many volunteer capacities like making parachutes for Bible delivery in hard to reach locations abroad; weeded gardens for some elderly people; raked leaves; made cookies to deliver to local service personnel; written letters to soldiers serving in the military; and most recently prepared food plates for families and prison inmates.

I love that my children step up and offer to help other people when we are away from home. Sometimes, I even see their desire to serve exemplified at home. Although it is not as much as I would like, for now, I will take what I can get.

The Christmas holiday season opens the doors for so many opportunities for you and your family to serve others who are in need. As much as we believe that we could use an extra hand or have a need, there always seems to be someone else who needs a little bit more help than we do. You also do not have to look far to find these people or families.

We live in a rural community, so large, organized volunteer events do not always come our way. Because of that, we have to look for opportunities to serve others. That is often part of the fun of the volunteer experience, looking for ways to be a blessing to another person.

Although financial assistance can go a long way for some people, your time and the smallest actions can go even further.

Local church
Most churches participate in some form of community service from delivering meals to the homebound to doing light cleaning in homes. If your church does not participate in any community service activities, then check out another church in your area. You usually do not have to be a member of a church to participate in its volunteer activities.

Deliverer of treats
Betty Crocker does not have to be your middle name to whip up a lot a delicious treats for you to deliver during the Christmas holiday or anytime during the year. Baking some yummy treats and delivering them to the police station, fire department or other service agency during this time of the year is something that will be appreciated. Your baking efforts do not have to be limited to just this season. With the upcoming New Year, you may decide to bake and deliver once a month as an ongoing community service project.

Story teller
My children like to read. My daughter loves to read and entertain. We contacted some local daycare centers to visit and for her to read Christmas books to a young group of children. It was great fun for the children and an excellent opportunity for her to be able to serve others, have a lot of fun with the children and an opportunity to “get her drama out” (Mommy loved that part).

Decluttering and donating
I think that no matter where you live, decluttering is always a way to find something in your home that may be better used by someone else. Furniture that is unused and clothing that is too small can always be collected and offered to another. I am still in the process of going through each closet and collecting clothing that is in excellent shape, not being used and will be donated to be used by another family.

Volunteering is not limited to this holiday season, but I am using this period to jumpstart the New Year, during which I plan for us to be more active in volunteering and community service. I have got a lot of ideas in my head, but am going to let the children lead in coming up with ideas on their own. Sometimes, all it takes is a spark to light the match that teaches your child to see the needs of others and react to those needs by finding a solution.

Does your family participate in any volunteer activities during the holiday season or regularly throughout the year? What type of projects have you taken on as a family?

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    1. Diana,

      Sometimes, I think that we take the work of police officers and firefighters for granted, especially when we don’t see them fighting crime or putting out fires on a daily basis. Since living in a small town, I have come to appreciate the work that these people do. Their commitment to the community is definitely exampled when they are confronted with the extremes of their positions and often with their smaller efforts.

      I’m glad that your motorcycle and bicycle were recovered, as I am sure you are too.

  1. Service to others in need is the best way to keep Christ in Christmas I believe. Every year we start the Christmas season with filling shoes boxes for Operation Christmas child which is such a great way to start the season of buy, buy, buy! {cuz no matter how much ya love Jesus you just can’t escape it}. And really buying presents is not a bad thing. Especially since we purposely don’t buy our kids a lot of stuff during the year. This year we also are going to combine a percentage on the visa gift cards we also get from their gramma to buy some livestock through world vision. You see, we have been trying to move to the country so we can live the rural dream complete with livestock for 3 years now, but have not been able to. I thought buying some goats and chicks for people who need it to survive, would be a good lesson for myself and my children.

    1. What a wonderful thing to do for those people who need livestock to survive! I’m sure it’s not easy to spend that money for others when you’re trying to save up for your own needs, but that’s such a wonderful example for your children! Thank you for sharing this comment.

    2. Leah,

      It sounds like you and your family truly understand the meaning of the season. I think that it is wonderful that your children are learning the importance of giving others the opportunity to live their dream that you are tying to achieve as a family while you continue to work towards that goal.

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