The holidays are a great time to spend with family and appreciate all of the good things in our lives. It’s also a time to reflect on the ways we can reach out and give back. One of the great things about volunteering is that it’s a way to connect with the community in a different way and learn about the work that goes into it. Volunteering with your family amps up the level of connection, and also teaches an important lesson about giving back.

Local Libraries

I love going to the library and have since I was very young. I love the story hour that was hosted for young kids or doing research for a big paper in high school or college, and now I love it for the quiet, the art and all of the community programs. Libraries are a great resource for volunteering, they usually have a lot of opportunities to help out. Everything from reading to kids, helping out people with resumes, or just restocking shelves. There are many options for all ages so the whole family can get involved. Get your kids hooked on libraries early, you won’t regret it!

Community Garden

This is another one that exists in most towns, the community garden. These exist on private or public lands and are usually collectively tended to by different members. It’s a great way to enjoy the fresh air with the family, and, in some, take home herbs and vegetables.

Working With Seniors

A lot of times during the holidays we forget that not everyone is surrounded by family. For some seniors getting around is difficult so holidays can be spent with limited people. Spending time with older people can enrich your life by giving you perspective on different life experiences. And, you never know, maybe you find a new member for your extended family!

Send it with Love

Putting together care packages for local shelters or sending them through the mail is a great way to volunteer during the winter. The whole family can write cards, make knit caps or blankets and give books or toys. It’s a wonderful way for the entire family to contribute and work on a project together, plus it’s a little like being your own Santa. Sending packages of joy out into the world, knowing you’re bringing a smile to the faces of people you’ve never even met is a truly wonderful feeling.