Now that December is here, the holidays are in full swing. People are putting up lights, planning what presents to buy for their loved ones, and preparing for the New Year.
But the holidays are about so much more than gifts and resolutions. They're also about making time to give back, and it's never too early to start!
Kids and teens can make their mark on the world this season by joining us for the 7th annual Joy Maker Challenge, sponsored by Hasbro. For every kid or teen who engages in service, Hasbro will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots - up to $1 million worth!
This year, we have 100 Kindness Ambassadors who are joining us for the Joy Maker Challenge! They're using their talents to help others feel the warmth and joy of the holiday season. Here are a few of their stories to inspire you to get out and volunteer:
- Sydney Fredette said she's learned to give with her whole heart and to know that she could make a difference one kid at a time, through her charity Beary Merry Christmas, which provides toys, hot meals and household goods to families in need in Orange County. "For those that I serve [through my grassroots charity], nothing is better then delivering a little magic, kid-to-kid, with a new toy, a book, a blanket or a bear," she said.
- Having grown up intermittently homeless, Marian Reynolds understands how dark the holidays can be on some families. To help make them brighter, is planning to host a holiday party for kids, teens and their families from Lighthouse Youth Services in Cincinnati, Ohio, which serves families in crisis, homeless youth and youth learning to become self-sufficient. To make it extra special, she is planning to collect toys and gloves by placing donation boxes in schools across her district, making it easy for the entire community to participate. "Many of these kids and teen have never been shown unselfish acts of kindness. I want them to know that we care."
We hope you'll join Lisa and Marian and take the time to spread joy and give back! Whether you're making cards for the military or making treats for your local animal shelter, it's easy to spread holiday cheer.
- Click here to sign up or share your story for the Joy Maker Challenge!
- Click here for project guides to spread joy and give back!
- Click here for kindness, homelessness, philanthropy, and other holiday-related lesson plans from our curriculum partner, Learning to Give.
If you're looking for more holiday related projects, you can get more projects for kids and projects for teens on our website.