Holiday is the season of celebration and gift giving. As a parent of young children, I always look for ways to teach them about serving others who are in need. Holiday season is especially crucial with all the advertising on toys and all-about-me mentality. It’s not easy to find volunteer projects or opportunities that young children can be involved. But this holiday season there are many great ways we can involve our children in giving back.
We have found several ways you can celebrate the season of giving with your family with our guide to volunteer with kids this holiday season in Atlanta.
Let us know if you know of any other organizations that young kids can participate!
Pack a Shoebox for Operation Christmas Child
We have participated in Operation Christmas Child for several years now. It’s an easy and fun way to get your kids involved in helping other kids from around the world.
Gather your family, determine whether you want to give to a girl or a boy, go shopping and pack a shoe box. Read here for more detail on how to pack, what to pack and how to donate.
National collection week started this Monday until Nov 21, 2011. There are 4 locations you can drop off your shoe boxes in Atlanta metro area. (Note: Many of local churches are also involved in this program so you might be able to drop it off if your church is partnered up with OCC.)
What: Pack a shoe box with kid’s toys, school supplies, hygiene product (see site for suggested items)
How: Pack a shoe box and drop at the nearest drop off location. See the nearest drop off location here.
Deadline: Collection week is from Nov 14 – Nov 21, 2011
More information: Operation Christmas Child by Samaritan’s Purse
Adopt A Family with Families First
Assist a family in need for Thanksgiving, Christmas or both by granting them their wishlist providing by Families First. This is a great opportunity to work together with a group of friends, families or small church group.
What: Sponsor a family for a holiday by providing them with gifts from their wish list
How: To start, go to their website and choose the family you would love to help, sign up with Families First organization to adopt a family for Christmas and you will receive email with detail instruction. It’s that simple!
Deadline: Drop off your gifts one week before the holidays (Dec 15, 2011)
More Information: Families First
Packing Meal with Open Hand
Action speaks louder than words so what’s a better way to teach them about giving back than by doing the work together as a family. Project Open Hand offers home-delivered meals and nutrition education to people with critical, chronic, or terminal diseases, as well as homebound seniors.
Family can sign up to volunteer in the kitchen by help packaging the meal. Children age 5 and up can help with adult supervision.
What: Help packing meals at the Open Hand kitchen
How: To sign up, call volunteer services at (404) 872-2707 to schedule your volunteer. Check out what other volunteer opportunities are available here.
Deadline: This is an on-going project that you can do year round.
More Information: The Project Open Hand
Donate Toys for Patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Help brighten the holidays in Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta by bringing gifts and toys for the holidays. You can see Holiday Gift List for 2011 here.
Take your kids to shop and fill up the shopping cart for the season, then deliver your holiday donation sorted by age to the information desk in the hospital’s main lobby Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. by Monday, Dec. 19. Be sure to complete a donation record card while you are there so that Children’s can acknowledge your gift.
What: Donate toys for patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
How: Deliver your holiday donation sorted by age to the information desk in the hospital’s main lobby Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. by Monday, Dec. 19.
Deadline: Dec 19, 2011
More Information: Ways to Help at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Angle Tree Program with Salvation Army
Individuals, families and small groups looking to adopt one or more Angels can visit any of the seven area Simon Mall locations for two weeks leading up to Christmas. Each angel Tag features the first name, age, gender, clothing sizes and a gift-wish list of a child, ages 2-12. Please help us ensure that every child has a joyous Christmas this year!
Pick up the angel tag from the following Simon malls in Atlanta metro area : Lenox Square, Phipps Plaza, Gwinnett Place, Northlake Mall, Town Center at Cobb, Mall of Georgia, Discover Mills.
What: Bring the joy of holiday season to children by fulfill their wishlist for the holiday with Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program.
How: Pick up angle tag that features the first name, age, gender, clothing sizes and a gift-wish list of a child, ages 2-12. Then drop off your gift at Simon malls listed above.
Deadline: November 25 – December 10, 2011. Monday – Saturday from 11am-8pm (no Sunday)
More Information: The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program
Sponsor a Child for Christmas with Act Together Ministries
Make a difference and help make sure all children have a Merry Christmas despite their family’s situation by sponsor a child for Christmas with Act Together Ministries. You can choose to fully sponsor a child by providing $75 worth of gifts (Each child will receive 2 to 3 articles of clothing and 2 to 3 gifts) or partially sponsor. It can be a great small group holiday project to sponsor a whole family.
What: Sponsor a child for Christmas and bring joy to them for this holiday season
How: Sign up with Act Together Ministries to sponsor a child for Christmas. Gifts suggestion and ideas will be provided after registration.
Deadline: December 12, 2011.
More Information: Act Together Ministries