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(Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.)
It is easy for our children to lose sight of what this time of year is truly about when they see so many toy commercials on television and start listing what they want. It is challenging to balance receiving with giving, but it is so important that we teach our children that this season is for putting a smile on someone else’s face. Setting up a community service play date for your children and their friends is the perfect way to remind them about the importance of charitable giving and kindness.
Who We Helped
We invited some friends over to help us with a very special project. We put together gift bags to distribute to families staying at our local Ronald McDonald House (RMHC). Since 1974, RMHC has created programs that strengthen millions of families during difficult times when children need medical care. RMHC provides vital resources and compassionate care to children and their families undergoing treatment at leading hospitals worldwide. The network of local Chapters makes children happier and healthier by keeping families close, giving them somewhere to rest and refresh in a place that feels like home. RMHC programs are found in more than 63 countries and regions across the globe. Visiting our local RMHC was one of those incredible hospital volunteer opportunities that our kids will never forget.
How We Created The Gift Bags
We ordered all the adorable supplies from Oriental Trading. Given the time of year, we chose a winter theme for our gift bags. We know it must be especially difficult for children and their families to be away from home during the holiday season, and we hope that our little winter gift will send them love and warmth during their stay.
Once we had our supplies and our team ready to go, we gathered around the table to begin putting together our gift packages. First, the children colored the Snowman Gift Bags, which were the perfect way to present our goodies to the families at RMHC.
While the young kids colored the bags, the moms and older children worked on putting together the Wooden Snowman Bobblehead Photo Holders. These absolutely adorable crafts came with easy-to-follow instructions and several parts. They were well-made, but required some skill to assemble. Regular glue did not work well, so we used a hot glue gun to attach all the parts. Because of the hot glue gun and lots of small pieces that needed to be carefully attached, this project definitely requires adult supervision and guidance. Once the bobbleheads were complete, the kids wrote messages on cards to display in the photo holders. They wrote “Get Well Soon”, “Smile”, and “Be Happy” that I’m sure the children at RMHC will greatly appreciate.
We included a Plush Mini Snowman in each bag. Offered in several varieties, we hope that these dolls provide some comfort to the sick children.
Before we knew it, our creations were complete and ready to be distributed to the families.
What This Holiday Volunteer Opportunity Meant
Our kids really enjoyed the project and felt that they were doing something positive in the world with this volunteer work with children. It was especially meaningful to one of my daughter’s friends because she remembered that when she had an extended stay in the hospital last year she was given some wonderful care packages that brightened her day.
Doing acts of kindness makes us feel better while we make others happier as well. We hope to have more community service play dates throughout the year. They are an excellent way to bring kindness, fun, and creativity to your children’s lives. I encourage all of you to explore family volunteer opportunities that you can do.
Looking for ideas for your next community service project? Oriental Trading has tons of amazing resources. Visit their coupon page for the latest sales.
What community service projects will you do as a family this holiday season?
*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading.