25 Ways To Be a Blessing to Others
Many people like the idea of serving others, but never do because they don't know where to start. To help you get started, here are some ideas for community service activities your whole family can get involved in. Helping others will teach your kids that by being compassionate and industrious, they can make a difference in the world.
1. Make birthday or get-well cards for people in hospitals and convalescent homes—great for younger kids. Contact the organization for a list of names and birthdays.
2. Build a playground for kids with physical disabilities—a great service activity for dads and older sons to do together.
3. Collect crazy and fun hats for kids receiving chemotherapy treatments in the local hospital.
4. Organize a coat drive in which old coats are donated for needy people—this can also be done with any clothing or food items, simply make flyers to spread the word!
5. Volunteer at the Humane Society or local animal shelters—children love animals, so give them an opportunity to put their love into action! They can walk, play with, or feed the animals.
6. Collect your children's old stuffed animals and dolls, clean them up, and donate them to a homeless or women's shelter. This one is great for getting your kids involved!
7. Contact your local city officials and volunteer to clean graffiti off of neighborhood walls and buildings, or, if it's permanent, paint a mural over the graffiti. A great activity for artistic kids.
8. Help cook and/or serve a meal at homeless shelter. Check the local yellow pages for homeless shelters and soup kitchens in your area.
9. Make care kits with soap, toothbrushes, shampoo, etc. for the homeless or for military personnel.
10. Volunteer to clean up trash at a community event, county fair, or alongside public roads.
11. Find a Military pen pal for your family and send him or her letters and care packages. Go to www.penpalsforsoldiers.org for a list of addresses and instructions about what to send and how to send it.
12. Work with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes for families who need them.
13. Do yard work such as mowing lawns, raking leaves, shoveling snow, or planting flowers and trees for elderly or disabled people—check with your local senior citizens center or place of worship for a list of people in need.
14. Visit a Nursing Home—your kids can play games with, read books to, or just talk with the elderly. Your youthful, cheerful kids will be sure to brighten their day, and your kids will learn a lot by talking with the elderly about the past.
15. Volunteer at the next Special Olympics event in your area. Information on the Special Olympics organization can be found at specialolympics.org.
16. Make holiday celebration baskets (such as for the 4th of July) filled with festive goodies for nursing homes, neighbors or homeless shelters. Let your kids fill and decorate them.
17. Organize a backpack and school supply drive for needy children—ideal for the summer before kids go back to school. Check with your local school for a list of needed supplies.
18. Hold a charity carnival. Plan a carnival for your backyard with carnival games, refreshments, and prizes. Invite friends by making flyers and charge a fee for entrance. Donate all the proceeds to charity.
19. Help repair or landscape churches or community centers that are in bad shape. This one is great for getting the whole family involved.
20. Raise money by having a bake sale, garage sale, lemonade stand, or car wash and donate the money to charity.
21. Knit or crochet blankets or scarves for homeless or women's shelters—ideal for girls 10 and up, and also a great way for them to learn a new skill!
22. Work together to write and prepare a puppet show and present it at a children's hospital.
23. Trick or treat for canned goods and donate the collected items to a local charity—make sure you go with your kids on this one.
24. Run or walk in a charity race—don't forget to tell your kids what they are walking or running for.
25. During the holidays, trim a Christmas tree with mittens, scarves, and hats and donate it to a local homeless shelter.
We'd love to hear your ideas for reaching out to help others. Share them with us!
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