I am looking for our family (9 in all 2 adults, 7 children (13 to 1yrs) to do some service projects this summer.
i feel it's time to do for others without anything in return.
What are your suggestions
Does anybody have musical talent? We've enjoyed playing the piano at the nursing home during the resident's snack time. Friends of the kids sang (my kids aren't too big on singing:) We're also looking into adopting an eldery person/couple who may have trouble staying in their home...helping w/yardwork, cleaning, etc. Have you checked w/your church? I know ours has a program to help underprivileged kids get lunches over the summer when school doesn't provide them w/one.....
I'm interested in hearing what others do:) Gina
We made blessing bags for the homeless last night with our church kids and they loved it as well as the parents were excited and many said they were going to do this every so often as a family.
I found this blog post with good info,
We volunteer once a week during the summer at our local food pantry. The boys carry groceries, help fill bags, etc.
We were just talking this past week about going on visitation once a week to shut-ins and elderly in our area.
I'd love to do more and am looking forward to hearing what others say.
If you have a local Children's Home ( we have one nearby that is sponsored by a church, currently housing several foster children ) they are always appreciative of willing volunteers to help with things if you call and ask what they need. Sometimes they just need a nice meal served to the kids and your family can prepare that together.
Ask around at Women Shelters, Red Cross (I used to help during blood drives), Nursing Homes - (washing wheelchairs, anyone?), DFS sometimes needs comfort packets for children in crisis, library, ask the local (town or state) park service about painting equipment or weeding, food pantries, just go VISIT someone you know that is lonely on a regular basis. Veteran's Homes and Schools for the Handicapped appreciate help too.
We work at a food pantry together as a family. Do you know of anyone that is taking care of an elderly parent/s or a child with special medical needs? Sometimes those people could use a break from caregiving or could use someone to run errands for them. Adopt a lonely widow/widower into your family. Help out a single mom with childcare, handyman services, etc.
Our family has participated at a local benevolence ministry in the past. They have helped serve meals, pass out candy, sing special songs for the patrons, and even acted in a Christmas play that was put on for the homeless. Ask a local parks and recreation office if your family could pick up trash or help clean up a park or pond.
Could your family bake cookies for a shut-in or even another family in the neighborhood or at church? If you're a musical family, nursing homes, children's hospitals, and veteran's homes always enjoy music and entertainment. Your boys could do some yard work for a single mom, shut-in, or widow/widower. Paint a fence, weed a garden, change oil, clean out a garage also come to mind.
It's always nice to get involved w/ local ministries and churches, but we should never forget that some of the people who need Christ's love the most live right next door.
We are not musical. I really have no extra financies for doing anything of that sort. The food pantries around us will not let little ones help until they are like 14 (which only gives 1 child an option).
I like the idea of a elderly home - will call church
I like the idea of baking for ? - I don't know who but we could do this for say the firefighters, police etc.
Maybe i can find out if the nursing home would like any help?
Thanks for some great ideas
As a family, we have gone to a local park specifically to pick up trash once a month for a while now. It has been an interesting experience. One good thing about it - it is free to do! We also use the park recreationally - it has a pond for fishing, a playground, a picnic area, a gazebo for parties. We live about 30 mins from the town, but my mom lives near the park and the kids often visit the park when they are at her house. I have come to see this as a growth experience for my kids in many ways. Returning to the same place and seeing the same kinds of trash pile up - especially the fishing trash - has brought them to their own conclusions about being responsible for picking up after themselves. We have picked up after other peoples birthday parties and baby showers - we are doing an act of service for people we do not know and will never know - we are just doing it to serve the community and the wildlife at the park. It has its own reward of satisfaction with a job well done - when we get there it is dirty, when we leave it is clean. They have also had some interesting interactions with people at the park. Many many compliments and thank-yous from passersby - this is so good for the kids to hear and experience! I read a quote once : If you want to feel good about yourself, do something you can be proud of. I want to give them opportunities to do things they can feel proud of, especially non-competitive things. Not beating another kid at a race or a test, but gaining accomplishment that is not bound to comparing their abilities to others, if that makes any sense. Service projects fulfill that need. They also serve as an example for others. Last time we were there a group of kids followed them around the play area while they picked up trash - talking and asking questions. My 11yo dd was amazed when a girl asked her why they were picking up trash, since today was not Earth Day LOL. They once noticed a kid start picking up the trash around him in the play area and take it to the trash can after he was watching them from afar, picking up trash.
I don't pressure the kids about picking up - they tend to want to help, then get tired and bored so I send them to play while we work, then they usually trickle back to us for a second round. After they saw some baby ducks trying to eat candy wrappers, and another time we saw a goose who was nearly crippled from being tangled in fishing line, they had a desire to pick up the trash - it isn't something I am forcing them to do.
Just wanted to share our experiece with an ongoing service project :) Reading what I wrote, it kind of feels like I am making too much out of a small activity - but really that is why service is so important. It is like a limitless opportunity - we can get as much out of it as we are ready to receive.
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