We could all use a little more love and kindness in our lives, especially now more than ever. One of the best ways to teach kids how to be kind is to take action and model it ourselves. Show them what kindness truly looks like and get them involved by having them help you!
Ever since 2015, we have created a printable calendar for the month of December that we call our Kindness Calendar for Kids. Full of ways to give back and an abundance of local resources, this family-friendly printable features one random act of kindness for each day that even your youngest child can do or help with. The best part? Many of these selfless acts of service don’t cost a thing and can be an instant mood booster for someone else who could use a pick-me-up during the holiday season — while instilling a sense of gratitude in ourselves and our children.
We hope that these small acts of kindness can kickstart conversations with our kids about giving and gratitude, inspiring us to do more and make the world a better place. See below for details and links to several of the resources mentioned, which will have additional information including wish lists, addresses, how to donate, and more. Be sure to bookmark this page for future reference!
We can’t wait to see your little ones in action. Download the calendar now, and use the hashtag #JMKidsGiveBack so we can see all the good taking place here in Jacksonville.
Dec. 1: Donate blankets to Veda’s Blanket Drive. Veda is an 11-year-old fifth-grader who started a blanket drive when she was in the first grade after seeing local homeless people on cold morning drives to school — this inspired her to do something for her community. Check out her Amazon wish list or click here for more details.
Dec. 2: Register for the Ronald McDonald House “Light Up the House” 5K. Grab your sneakers and get ready to “Light Up The House” during the festive holiday season for critically ill children staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Jacksonville. Athletes and children of all levels are invited to run, walk, or stroll through the San Marco route during the 5K on Dec. 4. Click here to register.
Dec. 3: Help stock the food pantry (or other items) at JASMYN. JASMYN supports LGBTQ young people in Jacksonville by creating a safe space, providing health and wellness services, and offering youth development opportunities while bringing people and resources together to promote equality and human rights. Access JASMYN’s Amazon Wish Lists for the following items: Winter gear, food pantry, housing, and undergarments.
Dec. 4: Clean your room and select a few gently used toys and clothes to donate to Hope’s Closet. Hope’s Closet Thrift is a retail ministry of The Church of Eleven22. Serving the Jacksonville area since 2015, Hope’s Closet aims to create affordable, quality goods for all people. Click here to view hours and donation locations.
Dec. 5: Bake cookies and deliver them to a neighbor. Sunday is a great day for baking. Surprise someone in your neighborhood with a few freshly baked treats!
Dec. 6: Get socks for Kendall’s “Sockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” sock drive. A local teen named Kendall is hosting her fourth annual Sockin’ Around the Christmas Tree sock drive benefitting local organizations. She’s not an official non-profit; rather, she’s just a teen who is trying to make a difference by helping others in the community! Click here to view her Amazon wish list.
Dec. 7: Donate to the Daniel Kids Holiday Toy Drive. Daniel Kids helps hundreds of local abused, abandoned, and neglected children, as well as at-risk families every day. Purchase and bring a gift card and/or new gift for the Daniel Kids Holiday Toy Drive. Click here for details and the drop-off address.
Dec. 8: Write a thank-you note to your teacher or school administrator. Tell your teacher or a hard-working school staff member (or both!) that you appreciate them and they’re doing a good job. We could also use a few genuine words of kindness!
Dec. 9: Buy something for a child from the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree. The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program provides Christmas gifts for children through age 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 easily donate online via the Salvation Army of Northeast Florida’s Walmart registry. Click here for more information.
December 10: Donate winter pajamas to Foster Closet. Foster Closet provides clothing, toys, and other necessities to foster children. The most recently updated Foster Closet wish list can be found here. Please email [email protected] to schedule a donation drop-off.
December 11: Leave a secret kindness note for a friend or loved one. The easiest way to brighten someone’s day? Write a few kind words on a piece of paper and leave where they will find it later!
Dec. 12: Donate diapers or wipes to the Diaper Bank for Northeast Florida. The Diaper Bank of Northeast Florida provides diapers to low-income families who are experiencing diaper need. Click here for ways to donate and drop-off locations.
Dec. 13: Send some artwork to a long-distance loved one. Color a beautiful picture and mail it to a long-distance friend or family member to bring a smile to their face.
Dec. 14: Collect items for the City Rescue Mission’s Shoeboxes of Love. The City Rescue Mission is collecting Shoeboxes of Love for our Jacksonville neighbors in need. Simply fill a shoebox or like-sized box with items from this list and drop it off at one of the many drop-off locations by Dec. 17. Make sure to label whether the box is for a man, woman, or child (boy or girl).
Dec. 15: Make a card for a veteran or deployed service member. Send a thank-you card or draw a picture for a military veteran or deployed service member. Click here for the mailing address and to learn more about America’s Adopt a Soldier program.
Dec. 16: Paint kindness rocks and hide them for others to find. Spread even more kindness throughout the community with a little fun rock painting — decorate rocks with special words or messages to brighten someone’s day.
Dec. 17: Donate wish list items to shelter animals. Jacksonville’s Animal Care and Protective Services (ACPS) wish list can be found here. Also, check out the Jacksonville Humane Society’s wish list and the Clay County Animal Services’ wish list.
Dec. 18: Go on a cozy walk and help pick up litter. Clean up, clean up… everybody clean up! Help keep our community clean by bundling up and picking up trash, whether on the beach or in your neighborhood.
Dec. 19: Donate used LEGOs through LEGO Replay. By donating your used LEGO bricks through LEGO Replay, you can help share the power of play with children who need it most. Click here for more details and to print your shipping label.
Dec. 20: Donate hygiene items to Mission House. Mission House provides assistance to homeless adults throughout the Jacksonville Beaches. Click here to access a list of items that are currently needed, including drop-off details.
Dec. 21: Put out a basket of treats for the mail carriers. It’s the busiest shipping time of the year! Brighten a mail carrier’s day by putting a basket of snacks on your porch for them to enjoy.
Dec. 23: Draw happy pictures in chalk for neighbors to enjoy. Break out the sidewalk chalk and draw some fun pictures outside in front of your home for others to enjoy.
Dec. 24: Video chat with an older loved one. Seniors and older relatives could always use a little love. Wish them a happy holiday and show that you’re thinking of them with a surprise FaceTime or video chat!
Dec. 25: Tell someone “I love you.” Spread a little more love throughout the world by telling someone, “I love you.” Bonus: Include what you love most about them!
Dec. 26: Donate socks or underwear to the homeless shelter. New socks and underwear are one of the most requested items by the Sulzbacher Center, one of Jacksonville’s homeless shelters. Click here to learn more and access their full wish list.
Dec. 27: Make cards for the waste collection workers. Gift-giving seasons equals a lot of boxes and trash. Show your appreciation for waste collectors by making them a thank-you card!
Dec. 28: Give someone a random compliment. Who doesn’t love a good compliment? Say a few nice words to a friend or a stranger and make their day!
Dec. 29: Volunteer and spend time with the animals at Celestial Farms. Celestial Farms relies on volunteers to help keep their animals safe, happy, and healthy. Volunteers are welcome Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and must fill out the volunteer form first.
Dec. 30: Hold the door open for someone else. It’s a small gesture that can make a big difference — especially if you throw in your biggest smile!
Dec. 31: Make a list of ways you can help others in 2022. Keep the kindness going and make a list of ways you can help others throughout next year.
What is your favorite thing to do with your kids to show kindness to others?