Christmas is a perfect time of year to reach out and express “community” to your community! Below are a few ideas to consider:
1. Host a Christmas event for low-income residents/children at a local park
You can create your event based on what resources you have to work with regarding volunteers, giveaway items, time, etc.
1. Post flyers in the area, as well as, door to door invites
2. Post to social media
3. Have Christmas music ready
4. Set up games with prizes
5. Have candy to pass out (of course!)
6. Package coats, hats, and gloves to give away
7. Gather toys, groceries, and/or clothes (ANY or all three – ask local merchants, businesses, churches, civic groups, etc., to collect donations)
Note: Check for required city permits
2. Senior Citizens
Search your community for the elderly in need (good resources for areas to search are local police, visiting nurse services, Meals on Wheels, etc.)
Coordinate with others to gather items or services to bring some joy!
1. Blankets (regular & electric)
2. Clothes (hats, house slippers, gloves, PJs, sweaters)
3. Food – Prepared
4. Groceries (heat & eat are helpful)
5. House (cleaning, maintenance, repairs)
6. Yard cleanup
3. School Outreach
Visit school counselors to offer Christmas assistance to their students! Counselors know the students in their school who are genuinely in need.
1. Ask what rules they have for assisting students
2. Determine if you want to help one family or more
3. What can you provide? Gather items to give away:
4. Check with local retailers for donations
5. If you can give individual gifts, try to make it fun for everyone, including parents, as it’s also difficult for them not to have enough.
4. Assisted Living
Many senior citizens don’t have enough engagement with their families, leaving them feeling very alone and forgotten. This stage of life can also create fears they don’t know how to talk through.
Please consider this particular group of people who have worked all their life, made sacrifices, and most likely made many mistakes and victories. They deserve to know they are deeply respected for what they have done well and feel the love of others.
Call local assisted living facilities (Manager or Activities Director) to establish availability, needs, and guidelines.
Taking gifts is deeply kind, but spending time with the residents is most important. Below are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Keep in mind the most important is for them to feel loved, appreciated, heard, and encouraged!
1. Traditional Christmas music/carols to sing with them. Consider printing out words in large font so they can follow along
2. Ask residents to share their best Christmas memories/traditions
3. Sugar cookie decorating
4. Gingerbread house decorating
5. Skit, games, etc.
6. Ask your Sunday School classes or life groups to write short notes to pass out
2. Seat cushions
4. Word Search/Find a Word/Cross Word puzzles
5. Cups with lids