1. Run for a Good Cause Over the next couple of months, the Arthritis Foundation will be hosting Jingle Bell Runs across the country. These races fight arthritis, the nation’s most common cause of disability. The races are meant to be fun, giving participants of all ages the option of walking or running the 5k distance. Strollers and dogs are even welcome to join most of the races! Click here to find an event in your area and help support a great cause!
2. Pics for Pets! This idea came from the website Do Something. It’s a fabulous site that encourages teens to do something about the problems in their community. The latest project, however, pertains to people of all ages! It's called Pics for Pets. The concept is easy: Simply take a picture of a pet in a shelter to DOUBLE their chance of adoption. Sadly, over 3 to 4 million pets are euthanized each year because they don't get adopted. Do Something believes that once great pictures of these adorable animals are out there, people won't be able to resist taking them home. Make a difference to our furry friends! Click here to download the app to your iPhone or Android and head over to your local animal shelter.
4. Prepare Hospital Kits for Children Hospitals can be a scary and boring place for kids. Why not make it a little easier on them this holiday season by making a craft kit? We suggest contacting your local hospital to find out if they will accept donations of this kind. If so, it's time to get crafty to make a kid happy!
6. Host a Bake Sale Have your kids sell fresh lemonade, cookies, and even flowers to raise funds for their favorite charity. Quick tips for a sale: Individually wrap all food items, label if nuts are used, and have small bills for change. Whether your child chooses to help out wildlife animals or farms, the BBB has a huge list of reputable charities to choose from right here.
8. Write a Thank You Note This is a simple activity that can be completed in minutes. Have your kids write letters of gratitude to their local fire fighters or policemen for keeping them safe. Or they could write a letter to their school teacher or principal for helping them learn. A simple activity for a cold and wet November day. Perfect to remind us to be thankful to the people that make our lives better.
9. Donate To Locks of Love This is by far our most ambitious service project on the list! Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from hair loss. Their costom-made natural wigs can cost anywhere from $3,500-$6,000, but Locks of Love provides them for free or on a sliding scale. How can you help? Donate hair that’s at least 10 inches long to be used in wigs! According to the website, an estimated 80% of all donations are given by children who want to help other children. Click here to find out how to donate!
10. Host A Card-Writing Party for Heroes The deadline for this project is quickly approaching! Kids can quickly organize a gathering with their friends to write holiday greeting cards to members of the military. Letters must be received by December 7th! Click here to learn where to send them and important guidelines.
10 Kid-Friendly Service Projects
The holiday season is quickly approaching. Before we know it, we’ll be gathering with family and friends, feasting on delicious foods, opening presents, and celebrating the beginning of a new year. What better way to end 2012 than with a few good deeds? Lets end 2012 right! I’ve come up with a list of 10 things you and your kids can do before the year is out. Some take planning, some can be done in less than 10 minutes, some have an upcoming deadline, and one even requires a trip to the salon! All of them are fun and can give more meaning to this holiday season. Good luck and enjoy the slideshow! —Sharon Beesley