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.
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.
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.
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?