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Community Service Ideas for Families

Christmas Gift Drive
Organize a Christmas gift drive to provide needy families with gifts on Christmas day.  Task seem a little daunting for your small family?  Then why not ask other families in your neighborhood, church, school, or play group to get involved.  Check with your local social services, churches, synagogues, or mosques for a list of families in need.

Homeless Shelters and Soup Kitchens
Donate food or supplies to your local homeless shelter or soup kitchen.  Check the local yellow pages for homeless shelters and soup kitchens in your area. 

Helping the Elderly
Volunteer to mow lawn or shovel snow for an elderly person in your community.  Check with your local senior citizens center or place of worship for a list of people in need. 

Visit a Nursing Home
Visit a local nursing home in your community.  Many elderly in a home enjoy playing games, talking, or listening to a good book.  Be sure to call the nursing home in advance to make arrangements for how your family can best help. 

Special Olympics
Volunteer at the next Special Olympics event in your area.  Events in your area as well as information on the Special Olympics organization can be found at

Help the Animals
Children love animals, so why not use this interest in animals to help out at your local Humane Society by donating your time or supplies (pet food, old blankets). 

Backpack and School Supply Drive
Organize a backpack and school supply drive to help needy kids in your area.  Check with your local social services organizations or place of worship for a list of kids in need.

Charity Carnival
Looking for a unique and fun idea for your next family volunteering effort?  Then a Charity Carnival may be right for you.  Plan a carnival for your backyard complete with carnival games, refreshments, and prizes and afterwards donate all the proceeds to your favorite charity.  Invite friends from your neighborhood, place of worship, and your children's classes by printing up flyers (indicating which charity the carnival is for) and charging a set fee for entrance.  You can set up a ticket booth and give guests tickets to use for the games and refreshments.

Support a Local United Way Charity
Use the United Way website to find a volunteer opportunity in your neighborhood. Simply type in your zip code!

Dog Days of Summer
Learn About Local Animal Shelters and Make Dog Biscuits

The purpose of this activity is to learn about animal shelters and their important role as caretakers of God’s creatures. Show your love by getting messy and making yummy dog biscuits! For complete details on this community service idea, download the free pdf file.

This activity is compliments of Kids With Purpose, a non-profit organization which promotes children helping others in their local communities. To learn more: visit them at

Other Great Ideas

Family Guide: Monthly Mission Activities, The Busy Family's Guide to Volunteering and Raising Kids Who Will Make a Difference are three great books for parents looking for more suggestions on incorporating family giving into their lives.