Serve With Your Family By Doing What You Love To Do!
Now is the perfect time to get out there and dream up a memorable family service project. This season, make it easy to give back by piggy-backing service on top of activities your family already enjoys. What does your family love to do together? What are your kids’ hobbies? What are YOUR hobbies?
Find something you love and do it together, in service to others -- there’s no better way to teach your kids about generosity and the powerful difference they can make!
30 Simple Ideas to turn your Family’s Hobbies into Service Projects
- If you enjoy hiking, spend a little extra time clearing a trail or picking up trash.
- Play a musical instrument? Spend an afternoon playing for the elderly or an ailing friend or neighbor; or spend a few weeks teaching piano to an underprivileged kid.
- Sporty kids can coach or play with younger siblings or friends.
- Love math, reading, geography? Ask an elementary teacher if there is a struggling kid you can mentor and tutor once a week after school.
- Budding artists can make holiday artwork to hang in hospital sick rooms or send holiday greetings to our Troops overseas with Holiday Mail for Heros - a program by Red Cross!
- For crafty types — teach and make holiday crafts at a women and children’s shelter.
- Are you into blogging? Offer to teach teens on how to start a blog or share short-story writing skills with a student group.
- Technical writing whizzes can offer to help people in homeless shelters write resumes and update website job boards.
- Do your kids take part in extracurricular activities like ballet or karate? Ask your teacher if you can help clean up the studio or stop in early to help set up.
- Singing hobbyists can gather a group and spread holiday cheer by caroling through the halls of a nursing home, hospital or community kitchen.
- Cooks and family chefs can prepare a warm meal or special tin of treats for a local shelter, an elderly friend or a neighbor with young kids! Teen cupcake bakers can host a cupcake stand and donate the proceeds to a charity of their choice.
- Do your family members like to work on cars? Teach teens how to fix a flat tire.
- Animal lovers can go play with pets at the animal shelter and offer to foster one for the week.
- Knitters are invaluable to cancer clinics which give warm caps to patients. Both quilters and crocheters can make blankets and throws for residents at nursing homes and shelters.
- Running families can join a charity race and help raise money for a cause you care about.
- Do you grow your own vegetables? Consider sharing fresh vegtables and canning those extra beans and tomatoes for donation to a local community kitchen.
- Fashionistas can clear out some closet space and donate gently used items to a family shelter, the Salvation Army or a Prom Dress drive.
- Paying a weekly allowance sometime seems like a hobby you forget to keep up with! Talk with your kids about collecting a few weeks of allowance to adopt a family and help buy a turkey or ham for their holiday dinner.
- Bookworms can host a book drive, share their gently used books with kids in shelters, or offer to read to kids in a class or at the local library.
- Love spending time outdoors? Surprise a neighbor by raking their leaves or shoveling snow– make it a family affair!
- Involved at church? Take time to thank a volunteer who works behind the scenes like the sound system volunteer, those who clean the building, or the office coordinator; or offer to help answer phones or fold bulletins one day.
- Photographers are needed at charity events and can post photos on facebook for the group. Offer to take baby pictures or a family portrait for a young mom or a family in need.
- Handy around the house? Grab the tool belt and find something to fix! Call around to animal shelters, neighbors, local non-profits and see if there is a project you may work on in a day or two. Bring the kids and teach skills while you’re at it!
- Home Décor aficionados can help a friend or women's shelter redecorate or ‘up-cycle’ a room.
- Scrapbooking fanatic? Surprise a new mother with a baby book they can update with their own pictures, or create a picture-free scrapbook to donate to a giving tree; this type of unique gift is sure to bring a smile this holiday season!
- Geocaching is a fabulous family activity! If you are geocaching fans ask your local Scout troop if you can teach a lesson in the skill.
- Do you spend time in a local horse riding stable? Offer an afternoon of free help in the stables, or secretly fix something in the barn you’ve noticed hasn’t been tended to – a fresh painted red door would be a great surprise!
- Do you stay fit with pilates or yoga? Many studios trade sessions for help wiping down and cleaning after classes – offer to help one evening for free!
- Green thumbs and master gardeners can take cut flowers to a friend or local non-profit,offer to teach gardening to a group of school age kids, or fashion a beautiful holiday centerpiece for an elderly neighbor or family busy with small kids.
- All sorts of hobby collectors can share their love collecting with afterschool clubs, big brother/big sister groups or Scouts. Things like: stamps, rocks/minerals, coins, trains, arrowheads, comic books etc.
Get creative and use hobbies and events already on your calendar to spice up the ‘holidaze’. Keeping the service ideas simple will encourage your kids to come up with more ideas. Take a minute and ask your kids how they most want to give back during this festive time of year. You’ll never look at your personal pastimes as ‘just hobbies’ again, get out there and enjoy National Family Volunteer Day!
For more ideas on volunteering as a family – please see our free eBook filled with family-friendly service ideas from A-Z!