How do you get your whole family to volunteer this season? Focus on what they love doing and remember, there is always one of these in everyone’s family.
For the Runner or Walker
– Start a tradition. Sign up to walk or run the Local Holiday Trot on Christmas or New Year’s Morning. It is a great way to keep the twins active and build exercise into your busy routines.
For the Crafter
– Take a morning and pull out all your arts and craft supplies and introduce the concept of Holiday Cards to the twins. Together, you decide who you would like to make holiday cards for and let them decorate. For example, Holiday Cards for our Troops teaches the twins about military service and it can create a connection to a family member who is currently serving in the military. Here is the link for the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program: http://www.redcross.org/support/get-involved/holiday-mail-for-heroes
For the Reader
– Volunteer to read holiday stories at the local library, nursing home or children’s hospital. This is a great volunteer activity for older twins who love to read.
For the Writer
– Once you’ve got your own twins to finish their letter to Santa Claus, volunteer at the local library or bookstore every other week helping other children learn how to write their letter to Santa Claus.
For the Baker
– Instead of buying gifts, this year try packing a pre-made holiday sweet snack kit with the twins. I’m always looking for activities while home with my twins. If you are a subscriber to High Five Highlights Magazine, their December 2014 issue has a great Cranberry Scone Recipe that you pack in a Mason Jar, include the recipe on an index card, and you have a gift for the neighbors, your mail carrier, or your boss. If you can’t find the recipe, go online and search for recipes that can be packed in mason jars.
For the Organizer
– Check in with your own twin club to see if they have an Outreach Program. If not, think about starting one where you organize food boxes for families of multiples who are in need. There also is the option of organizing a gift drive among your twin club members that can be delivered to a local toy drive. My twin club outreach coordinator is connected to local social workers who connect her with families in need.
For the Gamer
– Have the gamer in your family go through their video games and decide which ones they would like to donate to a local family shelter. Make sure you take the twins with you to see where they are making a difference. You might even consider donating your game console if you are planning on buying a new one. Board games are a great alternative!
For the Lego fan
– Pair up your child with a child in need who has Legos on their Holiday list. Your Lego fan will love picking out a Lego gift for the child. He or she will feel like the “Lego Expert/Kid Expert”. Most offices host a Salvation Angel Tree or team up with a local non-profit where employees can adopt a child and buy a gift for the child. Search for the child who wants Legos. The great part about doing this through your workplace is there usually is someone who is in charge of dropping off the gifts.
For the Accountant
– The Holidays are the best time to make those end of the year tax donations. A trend for gifts have been “Make a donation in your name to the Sierra Club”. You can include the twins in the gift by having them pick out the association.
For the Builder
– Check in on your neighbors and see if there might be a senior citizen in need of a ramp in their home or need something fixed or built. Teach the twins how to hold a hammer or let them come with you to pick out the wood. The best part is they get to see you in action helping someone in need and the neighbor gets to see the twins.
For the Singer
– Christmas caroling is a blast. What about teaming up with members of your twin club and see about offering “Christmas Caroling By Twins” at a local nursing home? I bet they would love it! My twins participated in a recent Halloween parade at a nursing home and seniors loved seeing toddlers dressed up, let alone seeing double! You can easily Google for “Christmas Carol lyrics” and print out sheets of songs for everyone to sing from.
For the Actor or Actress
– Audition your family for the local community theatre production of A Christmas Carol. Years ago before marriage and kids, I volunteered to stage manage my local community theatre production of A Christmas Carol . My theatre poster still hangs in my office. I loved watching the families act together. The play has so many child roles and it can leave you with the best holiday memories.
– If the local plays are already cast, ask if the family can volunteer to hand out programs, work concessions, or help back stage. If the twins are too young, then make it a point to take the family to the local production. May it be A Christmas Carol or The Nutcracker, the children will love it and you will be supporting local theatre.
For the Church Goer
– Start a tradition where the whole family participates at the upcoming church service activity. It might mean using a vacation day but it will be worth for the memories and lessons the children will learn. Most churches have a service coordinator who organizes activities such as serving food for the homeless or packing food at the local food bank.
For the Traveler
– If one of you travels for work, set a reminder in your phone to bring back all the hotel shampoo, lotions, etc with you and have the twins put together kits for those in need. The kits could then go to a local homeless shelter, nursing home, or the Red Cross.
That’s it! I know there are many more personalities in our families and many more volunteering ideas. I encourage you try one of these ideas or search out for yourself. Any kind of giving is worth doing, especially when you make it a family activity. Whatever you family decides to do, I wish you a wonderful holiday season. Good luck and happy volunteering!
Victoria Worch is a Twiniversity contributor from Northern California. To read more of her work visit www.cafevic.com or follow her on Twitter @cafevic. Victoria is a Student Affairs professional who writes about thriving in higher education and her adventures of going from a mom of 1 to a mom of three. She enjoys writing, organizing & inspiring teams. Her current job is raising their 16 month old twin daughters. She also has a 4 year old son who LOVES building Mixel legos. She recently volunteered as the Co-Chair for her local twin club Marin Parents of Multiples (MPOMC) 10th Annual Garage Sale Fundraiser. She serves on MPOMC Board as the New Twin Mom Meal Coordinator and organizes the monthly Twin Parent Meet Up for Babies to 2 yrs. She is fueled by country music, yoga, and family trips to the coast.