Are you already planning your service projects for January? Need some inspiration? Look no further. We have six service initiatives to start 2019 off with a bang.  

Soup kitchens/homeless shelters 

  • The cold shouldn’t bother your service anyway! Take time to volunteer at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Staff can always use help, and it’s a nice indoor alternative to outdoor service activities in the a cold-weather season. Contact your local shelters to see what resources they need. Ask if your club can help on multiple days throughout the week. You even can extend your service beyond the current season. Sometimes, once the holidays end, soup kitchens run low on assistance, so do your part and help your community.

Snow removal

  • If you live in an area with lots of snow, grab a shovel. The elderly or individuals with disabilities might need help shoveling their walkways or driveways. The day after a snowstorm, grab your club members and walk around your neighborhoods. Providing a clear path out of houses is a great way to help community residents stay safe. Some organizations in your community already might organize volunteer snowshoveling events, so look out for those opportunities. 

Drives and donations

  • Organize drives within your club or school to collect items like nonperishable food or gently used clothes, then donate them to your local homeless shelter or other nonprofit in need. Most organizations hold drives for such items around this time of year. Coats and sweaters are especially important in climates with cold temperatures right now. Gently used clothes that no longer fit you or are not in your current style can be reused by someone else and help keep them warm. 

Hot chocolate fundraiser

  • In cold climates, January is the perfect time to brew up a cup of hot cocoa and sit around the fire. But why keep the cocoa all to yourself? Make this warming drink part of your club’s service this season. Your club can make cups of cocoa to offer to neighbors in exchange for donations to an organization of your club’s choosing.

Care packages

  • For an amazing service project, create care packages. Fill a backpack with items that fulfill basic needs (think toiletries, small water bottles, snacks, etc.). Your club can fundraise to purchase wholesale items in bulk from the Kiwanis Warehouse, which will save you money. Or you can hold a drive to collect the items.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 

  • MLK Jr. Day (celebrated in the United Statesthis year’s date is Jan. 21) is observed as a day of service for the entire nation. It’s a great opportunity to bridge gaps and strengthen your community. From tutoring and mentoring younger children to delivering meals or taking care of the elderly, continue the celebrated civil rights leader’s vision of a Beloved Community within your club. Besides actual service, advocate for the MLK Day of Service, and get others around you involved as well. 

Check back next month for more service initiatives