30 Service Ideas for the Holidays

Looking for a family project to do this holiday season? Liberty Barnes, who volunteers with Doernbecher Children's Hospital compiled a list of 30 service activities you can do this holiday season.

Read through the abbreviated list and then scroll down to see details on each of the projects.

Abbreviated list of service ideas:

  1. Christmas cards for homeless
  2. Gloves for women’s shelter
  3. Christmas placemats for Meals on Wheels
  4. Booties for babies
  5. Blankets for Project Linus
  6. Hygiene kits for the homeless or hospital
  7. Toothbrush/toothpaste for humanitarian aid
  8. Socks/underwear for homeless
  9. Play-doh for Doernbecher
  10.  Hotwheels cars for Guatemalan orphanage
  11.  Vitamins for humanitarian aid
  12.  Fleece blankets for Guatemalan infants
  13.  Outreach kits for homeless teens
  14.  Birthday in a box for homeless
  15.  Pony bead geckos for humanitarian workers
  16.  Puppets for humanitarian workers
  17.  Day for Girls packets
  18.  Drawstring cloth bags for humanitarian clinic
  19.  Collect, clean, repair used prescription glasses.
  20.  Christmas gift for an orphan
  21.  Christmas gift for a Doernbecher patient
  22.  Adopt a Doernbecher family for Christmas
  23.  Grocery gift card for a Doernbecher family
  24.  Thanksgiving turkey for Doernbecher family
  25.  Christmas ham (or turkey) for Doernbecher family
  26.  Gas cards for Doernbecher families
  27.  Restaurant gift cards for Doernbecher families
  28.  Pay rent for a Doernbecher family
  29.  Chip in for medical bills for a Doernbecher patient
  30.  Christmas cards for Doernbecher patients


1.       Little Hands Can is creating and collecting 350 Christmas cards to go on the bunks of Eugene Mission, a homeless shelter, in the month of December.

2.       Little Hands Can is creating and collecting gloves for Womenspace, a women’s shelter. Collect or sew gloves. Email miriamwalther@gmail.com for a simple glove pattern. 

3.       Little Hands Can is creating and collecting place mats for Meals on Wheels. They made fall-themed place mats, which were so beloved that MoW requested more for the holidays.

4.       Send handmade baby booties for Womenspace. Here is a simple pattern: http://www.purlsoho.com/create/2011/12/06/mollys-sketchbook-felt-baby-shoes/

5.       Send handmade blankets to Project Linus: http://www.projectlinus.org/

6.       Create hygiene kits to be delivered by Little Hands Can to the Eugene Mission or to Casa de Sion, an orphanage and community center in Guatemala.

7.       Collect toothbrushes and toothpaste for Casa de Sion (orphanage/community center).

8.       Collect socks and underwear for Eugene Mission or Womenspace.

9.       Collect play-doh for the playroom in the cancer center at DoernbecherChildren’s Hospital.

10.   The kids at Casa de Sion are crazy about Hotwheels. Collect some to send to Casa de Sion.

11.   Collect vitamins for Katie Walther to deliver in Guatemala, Haiti, or on any of the other countries she visits on humanitarian trips.

12.   Create simple fleece tie blankets for newborns or toddlers in Guatemala. Katie will deliver these to the midwives who need them for rural childbirths.

13.   Create “outreach kits” for homeless teens, include hygiene kit items, snacks, and notes.

14.   Create a “Birthday in a Box” for homeless. Info here: http://equippinggodlywomen.com/community/service-project-for-kids-birthday-in-a-box/#comment-5646

15.   Create pony bead geckos for the humanitarian workers to use with kid patients in their medical clinics. Instructions here: http://www.beadiecritters.com/patternpages/beadgecko.htm

16.   Create puppets (anything small and cute and easy to pack) for humanitarian medical workers to use with kid patients.

17.   Create Day for Girls packets for Guatemala: http://www.daysforgirls.org/#!copy-of-make-kits/cp7k

18.   Create drawstring bags for humanitarian medical teams. Bags can be any fabric and cord, roughly the size of a gallon size zip-loc bag.

19.   Email krwalther@gmail.com for more information.

20-30. Email liberty@libertybarnes.com to coordinate this.

This list was compiled by three women (mom and daughters) who live in different cities, are connected to different organizations, and can all use help this holiday season. Please contact Miriam Clark (miriam@littlehandscan.org) for Little Hands Can projects, Katie Walther (krwalther@gmail.com) for humanitarian projects, and Liberty Barnes (liberty@libertybarnes.com) for Doernbecher service. Thank you for your support!

Thank you, Liberty, for putting that together!