The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but they can also be a difficult time for a lot of people. This time of year offers a lot of opportunities for students to get involved and serve people in their communities.
Service should continue throughout the year, but the holidays are also a great time for students to step out of their traditions and daily habits to benefit someone else.
Service ideas for students this holiday season:
- Serve at local nursing homes or retirement centers
Elderly individuals might feel a greater sense of isolation or loneliness while in nursing homes especially during the holidays. Students can provide entertainment, comfort, and connection to elderly individuals during the holiday season and gain wisdom and knowledge from their elders.
- Serving others with their Skills
Students have a myriad of unique skills and talents. Encourage them to notice the needs in their own background and use their skills and circumstances to meet that need in a unique way.
- Adopt a family
This can often be done through a student's place of worship. Students can collect basic hygiene items a family might not be able to afford or provide a meal for them.
- Throw a holiday party with a local after school program for kids in the community
Students can spread joy and be positive role models to younger children in their communities.
- Collect and donate personal hygiene items for a women's shelter or homeless shelter
Students are able to understand the needs of various individuals in their communities and can impact their day-to-day lives by helping provide basic necessities.
- Host a toy drive to benefit children in the foster care system
Students can gain leadership skills and benefit other children by organizing this drive, gathering donations, and coordinating drop off. Children in the foster care system might not receive Christmas or holiday gifts - students can see the direct impact of their work through this project.
- Volunteer to organize donations at a food bank
Food banks receive a lot of donations during the holidays. Students can volunteer their time helping organize donations benefitting local nonprofits.
- Write letters of encouragement and thanks to civil servants who may not be home for the holidays such as the military
By doing this students are able to step out of their own bubble and put themselves in someone else's shoes, which encourages a widened worldview and empathy.
- Provide meals to local civil servants who are not at home for the holidays such as firefighters, first responders, police officers
This kind of project can involve the whole family. Families can spend their holidays together benefitting someone else. This act demonstrates selflessness to students.
- Check for Opportunities in x2VOL
There are a lot of unique nonprofits dedicated to meeting the needs directly in your students' communities. Students can check for opportunities posted in x2VOL, sign up through their account, and serve with that organization. They can also reach out directly to a nonprofit they are interested in and ask them if they have any volunteer opportunities.
How x2VOL makes it easy to search and sign up for volunteer opportunities
Service continues after the holidays
Service during the holiday season is a wonderful thing, but it doesn't stop there! Our world goes around when we are looking for ways to meet needs and help others in the community. Encourage students to continue this spirit of serving during the year.
Continue to engage your students in personal growth and development. Are you students growing from their service experiences? Student growth and development happens when students are able to reflect on their volunteerism - what did they learn from their experience? What were they surprised by? How did it shift their thoughts or opinions? After capturing their hours and experiences, students can write a reflection in x2VOL that is directly tied to their submission. As an administrator you can generate reports with these reflections to see how your students are growing as a result of service.
Are your students recording their experiences and reflections?
Empower your students with their service history and make managing a service program easier on you! x2VOL makes it easy for students to log their service hours, write reflections, and track their progress. While administrators can easily manage service requirements and goals and generate reports on student progress. See how x2VOL works!