For kids that are used to coming home to a hot meal on the table, they might not be aware that nearly 1 in 6 Americans have limited access to affordable and nutritious food. While holidays are often associated with relaxation, family and indulging, they’re also a great time of year to round up the little ones and teach them about volunteering to help those in need.
To organize a family volunteer project, the best place to start is often your local Chamber of Commerce. They can provide information about organizations in your community that may have volunteer opportunities. Consider delivering food to the elderly or spending an afternoon in a soup kitchen, making and serving meals to homeless or needy members of the community (but note that some soup kitchens only allow children 12 years and older to help out).
Another useful resource is your city's Food Bank; contact them to discover ways you and your family can help. During the busy holiday season, food pantries often have low supplies of food that they provide for free or at low cost to the public. Plan a food drive in your neighborhood or with your child’s school and collecting canned goods and non-perishable items that can be donated to these organizations. Kids can help out with loading bags with food and coming along to help deliver it.
VolunteerMatch is another great tool that helps link up potential volunteers with opportunities to help in your own community, and designates which activities are kid-friendly.
What’s your favorite way to give back to your community for the holidays?