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The spirit of the holiday season is now in full swing! We were able to express and give thanks in our own ways last week for Thanksgiving and are gearing up for the upcoming holidays. Regardless of your religious beliefs and traditions, giving back through service is a universal way to celebrate!

To make it easier for everyone, Youth Service America (YSA) provides a list of 10 ways to serve this season - for those at any age.


  1. Gather friends and family to make holiday cards to distribute to local nursing homes, hospitals, and to send to troops overseas. Check out for more ideas!
  2. Host a food drive or volunteer at a local food pantry or food bank. Check out YSA's food drive lesson plan for more information.
  3. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Bring your friends and family to help cook and/or serve a meal to those in need. YSA recommends finding a shelter via the following sites:
  4. Collect and donate those winter clothes and gear that no longer fit or that you no longer wear to a family crisis center or homeless shelter.
  5. Sign up with Meals on Wheels to deliver food to senior citizens. If you can't drive, find someone who can and do it together!
  6. Turn off the lights! Don't use more energy than necessary by turning off decorative lights when not at home.
  7. Organize a coat drive and donate the items to One Warm Coat.
  8. Go green with your wrapping by hosting a present-wrapping table at your local mall or at a local senior center. Use eco-friendly wrapping paper, or creatively recycle materials like newspaper as wrapping paper.
  9. Host a story hour at a local library and apply for a Youth Leaders for Literacy grant to do another reading and service project in the spring.
  10. Last, but not least, it's not too early to start planning your Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service project!

Do you have other ideas for serving this holiday season? Add them to the list below!

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