The end of year holidays is a popular time for many of us to volunteer our time and give to those who are less fortunate. There are many different ways to perform community service - donating unwrapped toys that will become Christmas or Hanukkah presents to those who can't afford to buy them, delivering food to those who otherwise would go without a traditional holiday meal or spending time at a senior citizen facility with those who may not have frequent visitors. All of those examples are great ways to help spread the holiday cheer.
Community service is also a great family activity. It's a terrific opportunity for a family to spend time together while teaching your children the importance of giving assistance to those who could use a helping hand. Watch a child knock on a door to deliver a meal to a needy family or look at a child playing bingo with the elderly and you'll see a happy child who has learned that community service can be both rewarding and fun.
Helping those in need doesn't have to mean giving money. There are a number of places in your neighborhood that you can contact if you want to volunteer:
• senior citizen centers
• school, churches or synagogue who have "adopt a family" programs
• children's ward of a hospital
• soup kitchens
While there is a natural connection between the holidays and community service, this doesn't have to be the only time of the year to get involved. At Diamond Ridge Camps, we include community service projects as part of our Leader in Training (LITs) program. LITs are 14 and 15 year olds who are transitioning from being campers to becoming Junior Counselors. This past summer some of the projects our LITs participated in were: restoration and beautification of the trails at Peace Valley Nature Center, organizing a clothing drive to benefit Impact! Thrift Stores and assisting the residents of Neshaminy Manor Nursing Home with their shopping.
This coming summer our LITS will be taking part in some new projects to benefit other organizations in Bucks and Montgomery County.