Best Family Friendly Holiday Community Service Projects

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Over the past year, my husband and I have realized that we may be missing the mark a bit with our parenting. Even though both of our kids are still young, the “give me’s” have been getting more and more intense. Can you relate?

Every store we walk into they ask for new things. When toys break the response is, “let’s just buy a new one”. That may have worked a little over a year ago, but now as a stay-at-home Mom, we are on a single fixed income and “just buy a new one” isn’t going to fly. Plus, raising an entitled child of a Millennial or Zennial– the Gen X/Millenial hybrid (or whatever I’m considered), isn’t on my parenting wishlist.

We’ve tried talking to the kids about giving back. We’ve attempted to explain Community Service (which is incredibly hard to explain, for the record), and talked about being grateful, but it seems to only last in their mind until the conversation ends. We all know talk is cheap. Even for kids, it rings true. 

Back in our good ol’ college days and into our pre-kid life, my husband and I did a lot of community service work. We spent more time giving back. But let’s face it, we don’t have the luxury of extra time the way we used to. At least that’s been the excuse. We’ve settled for just giving a donation or donating to someone else who is doing something for a good cause.

So we recently decided we wanted our kids to see us giving back. And, we wanted them to help us give back to others, too. Just after Hurricane Irma, we all went and filled boxes for victims in Puerto Rico. I was surprised at how well they helped. 

Community Service and the Holidays

Doesn’t it seem like the “I want it” war cry is louder than ever around the holidays? To keep community service our goal during this season, we have been on the hunt for community service projects that are family friendly.

Here is a list of community service projects to get your kids more focused on doing for others during the holidays:

Best Family Friendly Holiday Community Service ProjectsRetirement Homes

Unfortunately, a lot of the elderly spend the holidays alone. This can be a very a difficult time for those who don’t have visitors close by. Making holiday cards with your kids and taking them to the center is a great way to give back. This is great for really young kids; they help bring a little joy just by handing out cards. Be sure to contact the Activities Director or Volunteer Coordinator to schedule a time to go by. 

Beach or Park Clean-up

Another easy service project is beach or park clean-up. This helps kids understand the importance of throwing trash away and helping the environment. You may even inspire some passers-by to do a good deed too! All you need is a trash bag and gloves.

Best Family Friendly Holiday Community Service ProjectsLocal Charities

Googling local charities is always an easy way to find local community service projects. Most charities will have a calendar posted on their site for ways you can get involved. Contact the volunteer coordinator and confirm the age range they can accommodate.

If you are local to Orlando, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida has shifts for kids 10 and up, and there’s even Family Nights for families with kids 5-9yrs old. Other Orlando charities include Baby DJ, a program created to provide assistance to families of economic disadvantage in the Central Florida area (great for kids 14 years and up). Servant’s Heart Center partners with Orange County Public Schools to help get food to kids in need and also have family friendly evenings. Please contact the volunteer coordinators to confirm shift times, ages that can help and what they are in need of the most. 

With different organizations like the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program or the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots, kids can sponsor a child their same age and give a toy they’d wish they could receive. This may be a tough concept for little kids but may have a huge lasting impact knowing that they gave a gift to a “friend” they’ve never met. 

I hope this list inspires you and your family to get out in your communities to give back to others. 

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Chenoa
A Florida native, Chenoa is originally from Miami but has been living in Maitland for 22 years with a short 2-year break where she lived in (and fell in love with) Raleigh, NC. She's part "adopted Southern charm" with a streak of feisty Miami girl! She's Mom to two strong-willed, preemie babies, a 25 weeker and a 35 weeker, who now are thriving big kids (6yr old girl and 3yr old boy). They have led to a hot mess parenting style that's fueled by coffee to get through the day and wine to try and soothe the nerves at night. She's married to her college sweetheart who she met at the University of Central Florida (GO KNIGHTS) while studying English-Creative Writing and the fine art of Greek life. She's a DIY junkie who loves Fixer Upper (of course), loves reading, cooking and writing. When out and about with her husband, sans kids, she loves eating at new local places around Winter Park, enjoying coffee from a favorite local coffee shop or enjoying a date night at Eden Bar in Maitland. Her adventures through motherhood have included recently transitioning from full-time working Mom to stay-at-home Mom, raising a sassy, hilarious little girl and helping her silly little guy navigate some developmental delays that have challenged her to slow down and let him guide her way. She hasn't lost hope that she can control all the things that parenting brings and her kids haven't given up trying to prove her wrong. Her husband is the Helicopter Parent to her Free Range which is the perfect topping to the chaos of everyday life! She frequents social media and uses her Instagram to document the fleeting moments of "put-togetherness" that occasionally happen by accident...sometimes.

1 COMMENT

  1. I especially love the idea of visiting retirement homes with your kids. Not only is it a great way to include a population who is oftentimes forgotten, but it’s a fantastic opportunity for your younger ones to connect with the oldest generations. So often, there’s a gap between the really young and old, and this is a thoughtful way to bridge it for both parties!

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