This post was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Christmastime is a wonderful time to teach children about service. There is a wonderful spirit in the air during the Christmas season and many people are looking for ways to give service to those in need.  My boys have been very fortunate to have never gone without and I hope I am raising them to understand that when you have much to give, you should give as often as you can. Here are some simple service projects for families that can be done all year long.

Simple Service Projects for Families

Simple Service Projects for Families

I think it is easy for parents to shy away from involving their children in service projects because it may be easier to serve without them, but there are so many ways to involve even the smallest of children in giving simple service.

Simple Service Project Ideas

  1. Visit a Neighbor – Many people are lonely, especially during the holidays.  Get to know your neighbors by stopping in for a quick visit.  Have your kids make a card or make a treat as a family.  You never know who could be waiting for someone to talk to.  And if you don’t have a card or a treat, visit anyway.  How many times do we put off a visit because we don’t have something to bring with us.
  2. Watch for a Need in your Neighborhood – Is someone’s yard getting overgrown? Could your elderly neighbor need a hand with their heavy garbage can each week? When we start looking for simple service opportunities in our own neighborhood, we will often see them.
  3. Put Together a Food Drive – Now this might not sound like a simple thing, but even getting a few friends together to donate, can help a local food drive. I live in a small town and our food bank is always in need of food.  Even a few bag of non-perishable food can go a long way to help those in need.
  4. Write Thank You Cards – Teach your kids gratitude by having them write a thank you card to someone who has made a difference in their life.  It could be a teacher, Sunday school teacher, grandparent or a friend.
  5. Visit a Senior Center or Nursing Home – Many people in nursing homes rarely get a visit.  You could make someone’s day just by visiting with your family.  Even better, prepare a song to sing and really take time being there for them.
  6. Be a Friend – Your kids might not even realize that this as a service. Encourage them to look around at school and notice someone sitting alone or not being included. Have them invite them to be their friend.
  7. Volunteer at the Local Animal Shelter – If your kids love animals, this would be the perfect service to do.
  8.  Pick up Trash in Your Neighborhood or Town – This is a service that anyone can do.  Take kids around your neighborhood and teach them the importance of keeping the earth clean by picking up garbage.
  9.  Secret Family Service – One of my favorite things to do with my family is to have a week of secret service. You could either have family members secretly pick a name of someone in the family to serve for the week, or have them look for one way to serve each family member that week. My kids get excited to find ways to serve each other!
  10. Write Letters to the Military – Many members of our military are away from home during the Christmas season and all year round. Have your kids recognize their service and talk about their sacrifice by writing and sending a member of the military a letter.

    Champions for Food

    My kids were SO tiny here! They loved helping in a simple food drive for our local food bank.

 When you start looking for simple service ideas, you will find them everywhere. There are always many ways to give back during the holidays.

Many companies are making it very easy to give back this Christmas. For example, when you download the free Donate a Photo app and share a photo, Johnson and Johnson will donate $1 to a non-profit partner of your choice*.

You could also purchase a gift from the Save the Children “Gifts of Joy” holiday catalog and Johnson & Johnson will match each donation (up to $450,000).  Johnson & Johnson has been a long-time partner of Save the Children and their products have been used to support basic health and hygiene needs for families in need.

*Johnson & Johnson has curated a list of trusted causes, and you can donate a photo to one cause, once a day. Each cause will appear in the app until it reaches its goal, or the donation period ends. If the goal isn’t reached, the cause will still get a minimum donation.

Simple Service Projects for Families

 What is your favorite way to get your children involved in simple service? I’d love to hear in the comments!