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Give back this holiday season

November and December are two of the most popular months to volunteer. That’s a good thing—it’s a time when many people and groups need the most help.

The project ideas listed below might not be new to you, but their impact on others is something worth repeating. Here are some fun twists on classic holiday projects.

Playful placemats

If your club serves holiday meals at a soup kitchen, go a step further: Design and donate fun placemats for kids to use during their meals. Include spaces for games of tic-tac-toe, coloring book pictures or words of inspiration. Get some bonus points: Give each child a small box of crayons too.

Service sculptures

Anyone can collect canned food and place it into a barrel, but it takes talent to create a miniature baseball stadium or castle out of those cans. Take your food drive to the next level by hosting a canned-food sculpture contest. Challenge students from different classrooms or grades to build the best sculptures, and let fellow classmates and school faculty “vote” for their favorites by dropping money into a bucket near each masterpiece. Donate the collected food and money to your favorite food bank or shelter.

Warm wishes

During most coat drives, there isn’t much work needed other than putting out barrels and then taking coats to a drop-off center. Get more involved by making a scarf to donate with each coat. All you need to make a scarf is a long, narrow piece of fleece and scissors to cut fringe on each end. Want to do more? Try making some fleece hats too. (Note: There is sewing involved.)

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