With Thanksgiving, Christmas and other winter holidays approaching, many of us are looking for ways to involve our children in service projects to benefit our communities. At the same time, we are still in a pandemic, and many kids who are now eligible to be vaccinated still won’t have full immunity until mid-December. With that in mind, we came up with some ideas for socially distanced service projects you and your children can do to help make someone’s day this winter:
Make a craft, wrap a paracord bracelet or write a letter for Operation Gratitude to send in a care package to members of the military deployed overseas.
Check with a local faith community that does outreach work to see how your family can help support its efforts. Often there will be opportunities to collect items for donation, pack lunches, or other tasks that can be completed from home.
Contact your local homeless, teen or domestic violence shelter to learn which items are most in demand, then shop together and drop off your donations as a family.
Participate in a local park cleanup, or find a stretch of road or green space in your neighborhood and spend an hour picking up litter.
Brighten a senior’s day — make cards or paint pictures for residents at your nearest long-term care facility.
Work together as a family to make a blanket for Project Linus, which donates handmade blankets to children who are sick, traumatized or in need.
Write and send thank-you notes to first responders and hospital staff.
Rake a neighbor’s leaves or shovel their driveway (especially if there’s someone on your block who has recently experienced a loss or illness or has a new baby at home!).
Looking for a long-term project? Become a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions! This nonprofit provides service dogs at no cost to those who need them, and they rely on volunteers to help their puppies get a good start on manners and socialization. This is a whole-household commitment (including lots of work by the adults), so you’ll want to do some research and make sure it’s a project that will work for your family.