Christmas is traditionally the “season of giving.” There are many ways to give to others. While donations via the Salvation Army or other non-profit organizations are big this time of year, we want to focus on service we can give instead of money.
From the Salvation Army collecting donations to winter wear, collecting items is very popular during the Christmas season. It allows us to give to those who need help. Participate in or start a collection to help those who need it for the holidays.
2. Decorations and ornaments.
A great way to share the holiday is with an ornament gift. We tend to collect ornaments from friends and family. Examine your decorations. Fix those that need it. Donate those that are in good shape. Alternatively, you can help others repair their decorations as a service.
3. Animal feeders.
Do you make animal feeders for the holidays? Helping our wild friends during the cold and snow is a great way to get the kids motivated. Explore different feeders you can make that serve as a decoration AND feed your nature neighbors as well.
4. Abandoned pets.
No one likes to be alone for the holidays. This includes pets. Make and / or donate pet treats, food and blankets to a shelter. Plan to spend some time with the animals if you’re allowed. Call and check first.
5. Homeless and shelters.
Many homeless people don’t have much to look forward to over the holidays. In our community, there are a couple restaurants that open their doors and feed needy families for free. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, shelter or other area people in need frequent. If you don’t have the time, find out what they need and ask your friends to help gather these items.
6. Nursing homes.
You may think that people in nursing homes have it better than the homeless. The sense of isolation is just as bad. When my girls worked on their Bronze Award, they did a monthly program for seven months. When the girls handed out extra crafts, treat bags and the like, they were frequently told by residents that they didn’t have the money to pay for things. When the girls insisted they just wanted to give them to the residents, they were greeted with happy tears and hugs. Even the simplest gesture is meaningful. Check with local nursing homes to find out what you can do to help.
7. Parent helpers.
One thing parents have problems with during the holidays is finding time to go shopping. Providing a sitter service for a few hours can allow parents to shop unhindered or give them time to wrap gifts without being spied on. Explore what you would need to do to provide a sitter service for a day.
8. Operation Christmas Child.
Samaritan’s Purse collects shoeboxes packed with items children need. This is a great service project for a group. The shoeboxes are packed, labeled and dropped off at specified locations. Check out this project to see if it is something you’d like to do.
NOTE: They collect boxes before Thanksgiving so they have time to deliver them for Christmas.
9. Your own service.
Explore your community and find service that needs to be done. You may need to come up with solutions in addition to providing service. Start a plan to meet the need in your community.
Sites to Explore
To download a PDF of this badge program, click here: EP_Christmas Service