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Holiday Season Volunteering

What to do with your kids on winter break? Try volunteering.

The holiday season presents a unique opportunity to engage in meaningful acts of service and give back to the community. Volunteering during this time spreads joy and goodwill, fostering a sense of togetherness and compassion in your family.

From organizing Christmas toy drives, assisting at food banks or spending time with seniors at nursing homes, there are of options for you to contribute.

This season, consider participating in activities like Christmas tree sales, dog adoption events or park clean-ups.

Volunteering provides major hidden benefits for parents. It helps your kids be more aware and grateful for your love and sacrifices.

So, why wait.

Volunteering Opportunities

Here are some common opportunities you can find near you. If you live in Northern Virginia, you can sign up directly through RRC

1. Volunteering at a Nursing Home

The holiday season could be particularly isolating for seniors living away from families. Consider joining activities like walks with seniors, game nights, balloon volleyball, Christmas carols, arts and crafts in a nursing home.

Music teachers can spread holiday cheer this holiday season by organizing student concerts at nursing homes. It's a wonderful way for volunteers to help and bring joy to the residents.

Volunteering can be fun and impactful at the same time.

2. Christmas Tree Sale

The scent of pine trees is so often associated with joyful holiday memories. You can accentuate that with some volunteer work at your community Christmas tree sale. Kids love working outdoors in the cool weather and being emersed in the pine fragrance. Maybe bring along some hot chocolate in a thermos.   

Even if your family doesn’t celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. It’s still a great way to embrace other cultures, meet your neighbours and benefit the community.

3. Christmas Toy Drive

Families can support the Christmas Toy Drive by donating new, unwrapped toys for children and families in need. Volunteering to collect, sort, or distribute toys is another impactful contributing way. You can join this initiative through organizations like Toys for Tots or through your local schools or shelters.

4. Food Bank Assistance

Food bank or soup kitchen is synonymous with volunteering. Food banks tend to receive a lot of donations during the holiday season so there is often a need help to pack, sort and distribute these donations.

But experts also remind that that food banks are there to help sustain families year around. They can often buy food cheaper wholesale than what people pay at grocery stores.

So you may also want to consider a pledge of monthly monetary donation for the following year instead.

5. Fostering Shelter Animals

Animal shelters need help cleaning and caring for the animals. They tend to prefer adult or older teens who are willing to commit on an ongoing basis.

If your time is limited, a good way to help is to foster an animal at your home. Your children can learn the responsibility of caring for a living creature. It may be a good bridge to a dog or cat of their own.

6. Park Clean-Up or Invasive Species Pull

As vegetation withers back in the winter, it’s a good time to pick up trash around a park near you. Early fall or spring could also be a good time to move invasive vines and plants so the parks can maintain bio-diversity of native plant species.

You could join a cleanup event through local parks authority or through RRC in Northern Virginia. Or you can simply bring some bags and gloves and work with family as a group.

Final Thoughts

Doing good isn’t just about the holidays, just as the need in community is year-round. But holiday is a terrific time to get your family started on the journey of service.

As we come together to lend a helping hand, we can build a tapestry of kindness that weaves through the fabric of society, creating a beautiful and vibrant community.

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