The holidays are a mad rush of “buy this! Get that! And how many more people are left to shop for???” And all too often it’s easy to lose track of the true Christmas spirit. This Family Night service project activity, is a great way to bring back the true reason for the season, and bring the family a little closer.
Teen and youth homelessness is a massive, and growing problem in our country. Nearly 40% of homeless in the US are under the age of 18. With the help of incredible volunteer youth, my dear friends and I put this awareness video together along with a clothing and hygeine kit drive. What followed next was truly inspirational. My community has been overwhelming in their response. And nearly every family who has donated, has used it as their Family Night activity.
One family’s experience specifically, was extremely heart-warming. Their daughter was featured in the music video, and came home asking how she could help, her passion then sparked their 12 year old son to help. He became extremely excited and driven, and personally asked for donations from 5 large hotels, who in turn were touched by his spirit, and gave HUNDREDS of items for the cause. Their mother then had an incredible experience, meeting a young homeless man, learning his story, and was impressed to give him information about job training through job corps. Their entire family banded together, and felt the true meaning of Christmas.
I think the fact that this collection was for young people, really resonated with the children of this, and many families involved, which makes it a great Family Night activity.
You could use this familiy’s idea, and go together to hotels and businesses for donations, or you could go shopping as a family for supplies. While putting together the sacramento team building, you could have an informal lesson about giving, and what Christmas is really all about.
Clothing is also a wonderful donation for this cause, and all of these items were found at a local dollar store! Let the kids be the ones to pick out the items.
There are wonderful programs for homeless youth in your area, and please visit some of these amazing sites, to see how you can help. These organizations need help all year round.
Merry Christmas! Enjoy your beautiful family, and hug your kids extra tight.
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