Seven Fun Ways to Volunteer as a Family During the Holidays
Start a Big-Hearted Holiday Tradition!
Between batches of holiday cookies and plowing through your gift list, make time for a few family volunteer projects. Volunteering helps connect your family with the needs in our community and provides a chance for your children to give as well as receive this holiday season. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Angel Tree
Help make the holidays a little brighter for more than 650 children in Chester County through our Angel Tree program. The Oscar Lasko YMCA and Childcare Center and the West Chester Area YMCA have Angel Trees in their lobbies. Each Angel has a wish/need which you can view at the Member Services Desk.
The children that are helped are members of the Y, the Kindred House (Gaudenzia) or the Delaware Valley Children’s Charity. Gifts can be dropped off between 4-8 pm on December 8 or between 10am-2pm on December 9. Thank you for sharing hope this holiday season!
- Pass the cards.
Homemade holiday cards are sure-fire day brighteners. Donate your creations to a local nursing home, Meals on Wheels program or veteran’s hospital. Or, send them to a service member or a child with a life-threatening illness.
- Pack up parcels.
Organize a family assembly line to bag up supplies for low-income families. Buy cost-effective bulk quantities of pinto beans or rice, then put family-size portions into two-quart resealable plastic bags. Your local food cupboard will distribute them for you, but contact them first to be sure you have a taker.
- Get warmed up.
A popular project is making blankets by tying the ends—no sewing required! Even youngsters can pitch in. Instructions for a simple no-sew fleece blanket and donation information can be found here.
- Give gifts that give back.
The Jennersville YMCA in West Grove and Oscar Lasko YMCA and Childcare Center in West Chester both provide families the opportunity to give back to those in need right here in Chester County. Collect basic necessities, such as clothes, shoes, canned foods, school supplies and diapers and bring them to the Jennersville YMCA’s sharing table or to the Oscar Lasko YMCA’s Alex and Matty’s Helping Hands Resource Closet.
- Create a giving box.
It’s easy to get into the habit of giving when you make a fun container to collect your loose change. Start with a coffee can, shoebox or jar. Decorate it together, then place it in a prominent spot in your home. When the box is full, decide together where to donate the money. Start with charities whose goals match your family’s interests.
- Pay a visit.
Each holiday, over three million people are confined to places like hospitals and care facilities, and 60% of those receive no visitors. Your family can help them feel less lonely by simply sharing your time. Before going, call to find out the best time for a visit. Take along small gift or homemade treats to share.