Since 2015, we have created a printable download for the month of December that we call our Kindness Calendar for Kids. We are pleased to bring you an updated calendar for 2017, complete with more resources on how to give. Each day, there is a suggestion for a random act of kindness that even your youngest child can do to show friendliness, gratitude, consideration and generosity.
Our hope is that these small acts start a conversation about giving and gratitude with our kids, inspiring us to do more for those around us. Similar to last year, we have included links to resources mentioned on the calendar. Each item marked with an asterisk* on the calendar will have more information about it below, including wish lists, addresses, how to donate, etc.
We would love to see your little ones in action! Use the hashtag #JMBKidsGiveBack so we can see all the good happening here in Jax.
*Donate non-perishable food to a local food bank: Mandarin Food Bank, Arlington Food Pantry, Jewish Family & Community Services, Episcopal Church of the Redeemer and Feeding Northeast Florida all gladly accept food donations.
*Buy something for a child from the Angel Tree: The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program provides Christmas gifts for children ages 0-12 whose families have proven financial hardship. These are kids who, without the generosity of people in our community, might not otherwise receive gifts for Christmas. You can find Angel Tree tags at all Jacksonville-area Ashley HomeStore locations, as well as on the lower level of The Avenues Mall, near the play area.
*Create a Shoebox of Love: Make a boxed toiletry kit for a homeless person that comes to the emergency shelter at New Life Inn. Please remember than most of these people carry their possessions in a backpack and larger items become heavy. Click here for a list of items. Drop your shoebox off at the Channel 4 Studios, 4 Broadcast Place, Jacksonville, FL 32207.
*Donate toys, puzzles or games to Foster’s Closet: The complete wish list of the Foster’s Closet can be found here. Please call before donating. They can be reached at (904) 629-2116 and are located at 8307 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32216.
*Make a card for a solider overseas: To send a card through Operation Gratitude, you must fill out a donor form with the letter. You can download it here.
*Donate art supplies: I Still Matter embraces the power of peer support to provide mental and emotional healing through art and creative expression. On Thursday, December 7, they will be at Vagabond Coffee (934 Edgewood Avenue South in Murray Hill, Jacksonville, Florida 32205) from 2-6 p.m. collecting donations of paper, watercolor, drawing supplies, card stock, watercolor paint, acrylic paint, Mod Podge, buttons, craft store gift cards, etc. for their programs here in Jacksonville. For more information, email [email protected]
*Deliver Wish list items to the Ronald McDonald House: The Ronald McDonald House wish list can be found here. They are located at 824 Children’s Way, Jacksonville, FL 32207.
*Donate old blankets to the ACPS or Humane Society: Jacksonville’s Animal Care and Protective Services wish list can be found here. They accept items Tuesday through Saturday at 2020 Forest St, Jacksonville, FL 32204. The Jacksonville Humane Society wish list can be found here. They are located at 8464 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32216. Clay County Animal Care and Control’s wish list can be found here.
*Send candy to a solider overseas: Operation Shoebox volunteers love packing boxes year-round with candy, but especially for the holidays. Collect bags of individually wrapped candies; heat-resistant candy is best in warm seasons. Mail your candy donation to Operation Shoebox, 8360 East Highway 25, Belleview, FL 34420.
*Collect candy canes for emancipated teens in Jacksonville: There are 77 young adults ages 18-21 in Jacksonville who have aged out of foster care and have no family to join for Christmas dinner or presents under a Christmas tree. These young adults have access to minimal support from the state. We want to help the holidays feel less stressful and more jolly for them, and let them know they have not been forgotten by delivering gift bags. The date for assembling bags is Sunday, December 17, noon-2 p.m. at Emmaus Church. They are accepting a variety of donations, which can be dropped off at Emmaus on Sundays. Click here to participate!
*Donate outgrown coats to charity: One Warm Coat was started in 1992 in San Francisco. Their mission is to provide anyone in need with a warm coat, free of charge. For a list of local facilities that accept used coats, click here.
*Donate school supplies to The Giving Closet: Students in our schools are struggling now more than ever from problems caused by situational poverty. These problems affecting our students include living in unstable environments, homelessness, and lack of access to resources. The Giving Closet Project aims to address some of the most basic problems our students and schools face through simple, effective solutions. TCP is taking donations of youth clothing, school supplies and hygiene products. Please drop them off at their facility (you will see the large yellow donation bins). Their address is 1873 Everlee Road, Jacksonville, FL 32246.
*Collect stuffed animals for the Cuddly Care Project: The Cuddly Care Program has been around for almost 20 years and aims to boost the spirits of patients at Flagler Hospital and local nursing homes in St. Johns County. You may drop off clean stuffed animals at the Sheriff’s Office Administration Building, 4015 Lewis Speedway, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
*Create Angel Art: The “Be an Angel, Comfort an Angel” Program brings the power of Angels into the lives of children who are coping with illness and who might be nearing the end of their lives here on earth. They are currently accepting original artwork — created by children for children — for their 16″ x 16″ silk pillow cover. Click here to download a Pillow Project form.
What is your favorite activity to do with your kids to show kindness to others?