Winter break can be a busy time, but volunteering is a fun activity that the whole family can do together. These fun and easy service project ideas will give your kids something special to do while school is out.

Younger Kids

  • Make crafts or write letters to be included in soldier care packages. Operation Gratitude will help you come up with ideas and find a donation center near you.
  • Organize a food drive in your neighborhood to support a local foodbank, and have your children pick their favorite foods to donate. Feeding America’s Food Bank locator is searchable by zip code and can help you find a food bank near you.
  • Fill backpacks with cups, pots, pans, soap, toothpaste, and other cosmetics to create homeless “survival kits” to be distributed to homeless people in your community, or find out other ways you can show your support by simply CAREing.
  • Cleaning out your closets to make room for fall clothing? Save gently used clothing and donate it to your local family shelter, refugee center or charity thrift store.

Older Kids

  • Become a Hospital Buddy and be a supportive friend to a child during their fight against cancer.
  • Start a crew of neighborhood children to provide free lawn care and snow shoveling services for seniors in your community. Check out Points of Light’s resources for volunteers for tips on how to get started.
  • During lunch at school, host a hot chocolate or cider stand and donate the proceeds to a charity of your choosing. Charity Navigator will help you find the perfect organization to donate to.
  • Clean out your bookshelf of older, lightly used DVDs and books and donate them to a local children’s hospital.
  • Be a companion to a senior in a local nursing home. Make cards and sing carols for them around the holidays. Use Create the Good’s guide for volunteering with seniors to help you get started.
  • Collect used towels and pet toys and donate them to your local animal shelter.
  • Adopt a military family for the Holidays and bring food, comfort, and friendship to a family struggling to get by.

Making a Habit of Service

Habits that children develop at a young age will stick with them long into adulthood. The following tips will help your children see the power of service and build a lifelong commitment to giving back.

  • Deliver donated items with your kids. This will help them see and feel the difference they are making in the lives of people they have helped.
  • Talk about and share your family’s service experience. Help your children process what they did, how it felt, and what they learned.
  • Choose your next project immediately. Build on your kids’ enthusiasm and search for opportunities to give back in your area on All for Good.

Additional resources

This month millions celebrated the life of President George H.W. Bush, who founded Points of Light on his belief in each individual’s ability to create meaningful change. He created the Daily Point of Light Award to lift up the stories of ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things, and to inspire others to act. These points of light are the heart and soul of the volunteer movement, and through them, his legacy lives on.