As holiday time rolls around, kids invariably start to think about their gift wish lists. And while there’s no denying the joy of ripping into a freshly wrapped present on Christmas morning, the season is also about giving — and the joy that brings as well.
The holidays are full of fun opportunities to involve your whole family in spreading the joy of the season with others. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started:
• Help serve guests at the 21st annual Faith & Community Thanksgiving Day Meal, held this year at Central Christian Church Fellowship Hall, 205 East Short Street, on Nov. 24. Volunteers are needed from 4-7 p.m. to help serve dinners and distribute clothing to those in need. Children are welcome to serve with families. Donations of fruit, blankets, hats, gloves and socks are also sought for distribution that day. If you plan to help, an online RSVP is requested at godsnet.info.
• Participate in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. Select an angel card at Fayette Mall or at area Whitaker Bank branches and purchase gifts to match the child’s wishes or needs. To volunteer to assist shoppers and accept gifts between Nov. 18 and Dec. 9 at the Fayette Mall Angel Tree progra.m. display, contact Cheryl Dance at email@example.com.
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• Sign up as a family to serve as bell ringers with the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle program. Shifts are available between Nov. 18 and Dec. 24. For information, contact Andrea Kaler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Donate a new toy to a child in need through the Lexington Firefighters Toy Program. Drop off unwrapped toys for kids from newborn to age 12 at any Lexington Fire Station beginning Nov. 1.
• Share the love of reading by donating a new or gently used children’s book to the International Book Project’s holiday book drive, sponsored in cooperation with the University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union. Books can be dropped off at UK Federal Credit Union locations across Lexington between Nov. 14 and Dec. 19.
• Volunteer to help serve as a personal shopper or inventory organizer with the 21st Annual Faith & Community Christmas Store, held at Southland Christian Church’s Richmond Road Campus, Dec. 19-21 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The event provides participating families with gently used clothing and toys as gifts for their children and loved ones. Set-up volunteers are also needed on Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; on Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and on Dec. 18 from 1-5 p.m. You can sign up for a four-hour shift online at godsnet.info. Children are welcome to volunteer along with parents.
There are dozens of ways — both big and small — to spread a little joy this holiday season, from baking cookies for a neighbor to singing holiday carols at an area nursing home.
The best part is, the time your family sets aside for helping others may end up being the moments that bring the most joy to your holidays, as well.