Serving Opportunities For All Ages

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 by Catherine Gilliland | December Tips

Serving Opportunities For All Ages

During the Holidays and All Year

You likely know that volunteering in your community or participating in service projects not only benefits the recipients of your labors of love. Do you know the specific profits for those who take the time to give without monetary compensation? Although analyzing those blessings is not the purpose of this blog post, the positive outcomes that result from serving others are worthy of mentioning. When family members serve together, they grow together in their sense of purpose as individuals and as a family, creating tight family bonds that last years and years into the future. Serving also cultivates a sense of community, grows social and practical skills, moves us out of our comfort zones (and into our growth zones), and provides avenues to forge new connections and friendships.  

Often, the holiday season opens up a plethora of additional opportunities to serve. Truly, there are plenty of opportunities all year long, however, I challenge you to become vulnerable, purpose to serve in a new and appropriately challenging way, and experience the rich and abundant blessings that result (for you)!

Every community has its own unique opportunities. I am listing many that I have been involved in personally or know for certain can be embraced as a family with varying aged children. If the youngest in your family are to little to actively serve another, by their mere presence they will bring smiles and joy to those around (other volunteers or the individuals receiving the act of service).

♥Choose a widow (widower) or single parent who could use some extra help and serve them by

  • raking

  • washing windows

  • helping in a garden

  • sending notes of encouragement and child-drawn pictures

  • offer respite childcare

  • share a meal (deliver, invite to your home, bring a meal to share at their home)

  • wash and vacuum her car

♥Serve in a kid's soup kitchen (for younger children an adult soup kitchen may not be appropriate).

Package kits of small toiletries to deliver to a shelter.

Serve at a crisis pregnancy center.

  • Sew receiving blankets

  • Crochet baby hats

  • Sort donated baby items

Deliver a meal to a family who has been ill, just adopted a child, or birthed a baby.

Choose foster parents who you know could use extra help.

  • Scout for and deliver size-appropriate clothing, age-appropriate toys for the foster kids

  • Deliver an occasional meal (even part of a meal)

  • Offer to help with extra tasks (see widow listing for ideas)

Serve meals at a senior center

Visit lonely residents at an assisted living center or nursing home

Serve at an animal shelter or other animal rescue facility

  • Sometimes this type of volunteering involves fund raising activities for the purpose of donating supplies to these agencies

  • Walk the animals

  • Publicize for the agency

  • Become trained to help at an equine therapy center

    • side walkers

    • animal care and cleaning

    • greeters

Embrace a family friendly weekend service project for a summer camp preparing for their upcoming season

Toys for Tots

Samaritan Purse Shoebox Ministry

Baking cookies (bread, jam, fishing, hunting) and delivering to a neighbor in need

Shoveling snow for elderly or infirm neighbors

Volunteer to care for children in a church, for a mom's group, or a young couple's group

Be a secret Santa for a family in need

Preparing firewood heating the home of widows, widowers, or needy families.

Please share additional ideas for serving as a family plus your family's own volunteer experiences and how they have enriched your family culture! Include #IL2LServingtheCommunity so we can see your posts!

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