Simple Service: Light the World

We are thrilled to share our latest guest blog post from Charlie over at Living Tickled. She is a mom of 2 little ones, a wife of 1, and athletic trainer. She is a lover of baking, running (in that order), laughing, Gifs, God, new adventures, being outside, and spending time with family and friends, and is just trying to navigate through life with a little happiness and positivity. A soldier in the fight against anxiety and depression, she is a believer that we can create better lives through self-love, life purpose, organized chaos, and a positive mindset. She started her blog to empower mothers to create happy, positive, and more fulfilling lives, battle their depression and anxiety, and remove some of the negative stigma surrounding mental health.

We are so appreciative that this beautiful soul decided to share her favorite holiday service-based tradition with Little Hands Can. Thank you, Charlie!

Simple Service: Light the World

by Charlie Alexander

I’m so excited that I get to write this service post at Christmas!

I love Christmas time!

I love presents, decorating, lights, eating too much holiday food and NOT feeling guilty for it (okay maybe a little guilty, but what are New Year’s resolutions for?).


Most of all….I love the feeling of love and giving in the air.

People are kinder, friendlier and more forgiving. They try to put others first. It’s a great feeling!

One of our recent family traditions is to participate in the #LighttheWorld campaign.

What is Light the World?

Light the world is a campaign that promotes love and service around the world for Christmas. You can read more about it here.

I love it because it’s a handy dandy Christmas calendar that gives ideas on how to serve others, so you can make the most out of each Christmas season. It is also accompanied with scriptures and videos. It’s very uplifting. Following the suggestions in this calendar makes it easy to feel like I’m truly contributing to the Christmas spirit in the air.

Here is this year’s calendar. It changes every year but it always starts on December 1st and ends at the new year. This year the tasks are presented in a weekly format.

Last year’s calendar included daily goals/tasks such as “do an act of service in your immediate family” and “volunteer at your local community center”.

Last year was the first year that I felt like my daughter really appreciated the idea of Christmas. She was excited for presents! She understood who Santa was and actually wanted to sit on his lap instead of run away! So I felt that last year was a good time to start a tradition of serving for Christmas, so I could teach her the true meaning of Christmas.

So we took the #LighttheWorld challenge to heart last year. We missed a few days here and there, but for the most part, we completed the daily tasks. It was fun, my daughter looked forward to each day and each new activity, and I think she learned a lot about sharing love and feeling the joy it brings. (I hope she did)

We have just started this year, so we haven’t done much yet, but I would love to share with you some of my favorite memories from last year!

Light The World Campaign 2017

One day we called a few of our local women’s shelters to find out which donations they needed most. My little girl was able to help pick out and deliver the items to the women’s shelter. This is a great service because you can learn about your local women’s services and be aware of their needs. They are always in need so you can provide assistance year-round.


Another day we made cookies and took them to some of our friends and people we wanted to thank for being in our lives. We appreciated all they had done for us. My little girl loves baking with me so she loved this! I let her pick some of the people she wanted to deliver to and I was surprised by some of the people she had noticed and wanted to thank.

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We also wrote letters and drew pictures to give to our grandparents. We so often forget to appreciate our loved ones and I could tell that we were all uplifted by this activity.


One of my favorite days was taking toys to the children’s hospital. I explained to my daughter that we needed to take toys to children who weren’t able to be home with their families for Christmas because they were so sick. She enjoyed picking them out and then on the drive over kept saying how much they would like what she picked. She was disappointed when she found out that we couldn’t physically hand them the toys. I hope we can do that one day because I think she would love to see their faces light up.


Some of the other days included:

Call a friend

Donate to a charity

Invite a friend over for dinner

Share something positive on Social Media

What I like most about #LighttheWorld is that you don’t have to spend any money to do it. There are so many options that don’t require you to buy anything.

Last year my husband and I decided to lower our present budget and set aside that money in order to help others around Christmas, and it wasn’t even that big of a budget, maybe $50. So if you have just $50, it can go a long way to buy some toys for children, some donations for local shelters, or Christmas cookies to give away.

You don’t have to do it all to make a big difference.

“Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to accomplish something big that we fail to notice all the little things that give life its magic.” –Angel Chernoff

#LighttheWorld is now our family tradition that I look forward to every year. I hope as my kids get older they will feel that special feeling that comes when you give service to others. I felt so much Christmas joy as we completed each task and I bet you will too!

Get in Touch with Charlie:



Learn to Lead Youth Service: Kids Helping Kids

Welcome to our very FIRST Learn to Lead Youth Service blog post! We hope you enjoy and are inspired by these blog posts written by kids who serve others.

The following is an essay written by Emery Churchill, 13. She is one of the kid volunteers for Box of Balloons and wrote this essay for Kids Helping Kids. Her essay is very inspiring and Box of Balloons wanted to share it with you!


Have you ever thought about, or even helped out a non-profit organization? Well, I have, and it is one of the best feelings ever! I believe everyone should volunteer and give back in their lives because you can give back to the community and it will give back to you, you can meet new people, and it is super easy to do with organizations like Box of Balloons! Overall, I believe everyone should volunteer and give back in their lives!

Through giving back to people, I have realized that it not only helps them but can also help me. I am able to help others and see their spirits raised, but I also feel good myself because I know I was able to make that happen. One reason I think this is because, for example, at Box of Balloons you are able to help someone out with celebrating their life, and without you, they wouldn’t have been able to do that. A birthday party is something that is happy and exciting, it brings people up! This shows that you are bringing joy to others. Along with bringing joy to others, giving back brings joy to you and this leads me to my second reason. Helping the community also gives back to you because you have a feeling of pride and confidence. This feeling is amazing and makes everything worth it because you aren’t getting paid or anything, but you know in your heart that you are making a difference. When you are helping people who may be younger than you, they will also look up to you which makes you like a mentor, and you know that you are making a change for the better. In conclusion, giving to the community gives back to you!

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Do you remember the first time you met a certain person? Maybe it’s the person sitting next to you, or maybe it’s your best friend. Either way, you probably remember that person, and they are probably someone who has changed your life for the better. You can meet new people when giving back to your community, and meet someone who could be a lifelong friend. I like to give back to my community because I can meet new people and know I’m making a difference in their lives. Knowing you’re making a difference in someone’s life is an amazing feeling. It’s a feeling of joy, pride, and knowing that you are helping. Along with this, you can make a friend when least expected. This is great because you never know who you will be helping or who you will be working with, and you can end up really getting to know them. Lastly, even if you aren’t becoming the closest of friends, it is always good to have some other people alongside you just in case you need them. So, giving back is a great way to make a difference in your life, and someone else’s.

Robert Ingersoll once said, “We rise by giving back.” This shows that giving back is not only good for a small group of people, but large and tiny groups as well! But, some people who want to make a difference, don’t know how! So, I’m going to tell you how I got involved with Box of Balloons, from the very beginning. It all started in my F.A.C.S. class. We were assigned a project to research a non-profit organization and got to look through our cities list of them. I was looking on the list when I saw Box of Balloons! I had never heard of it before, but reading the small blurb, I thought it was amazing! So, I chose it as my organization and began my project to persuade my class to help them out. Next, when it came to final voting day, we did the vote. Sadly, Box of Balloons came out one vote short of winning! I was so bummed... but I knew I still needed to help this organization on my own. So, I went to the website, found a section that fitted me (Kids Helping Kids), and signed up to help! And now, here I am! Involved and working to become a Box of Balloons Kid Ambassador! This shows that getting involved and getting back is super easy, and super fun!

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Do you feel like giving back to your community? Because I know I want to continue too! I believe everyone should volunteer and give back in their lives because you can give back to the community and it will give back to you, you can meet new people, and it is super easy to do with organizations like Box of Balloons! Now, it’s up to you. Will you choose to help?

Thanks to Emery and Box of Balloons for sharing and inspiring others! The world needs more people like all of you.

Activity for YOU this 2018 Holiday Season

Activity for YOU this 2018 Holiday Season

Those of you who have followed Little Hands Can over the years know that each year we make Holiday Cards to go on the pillow of every person at the Eugene Mission. The Eugene Mission typically has 300-500 people staying there on Christmas Eve. That's a lot of cards!

We rely on school groups, church groups, clubs families and other community organizations working to make this a success. Do you want to help? Here's what you need to do:

  1. Take a colorful piece of card stock or construction paper.

  2. Fold it in half.

  3. Write, draw, and decorate with stickers! Make sure all notes are uplifting. Many people with small kids have printed off Christmas carol lyrics and had their preschooler glue the lyrics onto the page. Older kids can often write their own message of good tidings.

  4. Mail (or drop of)f your cards to Little Hands Can 2410 Gilham Road Eugene, OR 97408

  5. Watch our Facebook page to see pictures of the cards being delivered on Christmas Eve

Spotlight On Service: The Little School with Big Dreams

Spotlight On Service:  The Little School with Big Dreams

In 2014, a small, Catholic school in New York embarked on a mission to build a Mary’s Meals kitchen in Malawi.  Inspired by the movie Child 31 that tells the story of how Mary’s Meals was founded, the students held nickel drives and fundraisers.  In just four months, they raised the $11,500 to build a kitchen at Dzungwi school, Malawi but it didn’t stop there.