Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Community Service Projects from Home

There's an awful lot of giving involved in being a mother to young children. While that giving is definitely character-building and worthwhile, I sometimes wish there were more opportunities to broaden the horizon of the people I serve during these years. I believe being a mother is a very important job, but sometimes it feels very inward-focused as I constantly look to the needs of my own family.

 And then of course, there are my children. I, like most mothers, am eager for them to learn the joy and habit of serving others. Toddler Approved has a couple of helpful posts along this line with ideas for how to help children show kindness to a working parent and also ideas for how to help them show love to younger siblings. These are wonderful because the ideas are so practical for young children to do on an everyday basis.

 Finding ways to help children serve the community outside their family can take a bit trickier. During the years when there are babies and toddlers around, leaving home for extended periods of time to help with a community service project is often not practical.

 I've started making a list of ways that our family and other families around the internet have found to help children serve the community from home. Here's what I have so far:

 1. Write thank you notes or bake for people who serve in the community. (police officers, elected officials, pastors, etc) Glittering Muffins shares her story about helping her son bake mini muffins for firefighters on Christmas Eve.

2. Hold a fundraiser for a good cause. Sell things in a garage sale or do what East Coast Mommy did and host a party with a small admission charge, the proceeds of which would go to a predetermined cause.

 3. Make a fun pillowcase to give to a cancer patient. 

 4. Fill mercy bags with hygiene articles or food to keep in your car. Hand them out to homeless people you encounter asking for money on the road.

 5. Help your child gather toys to give away. (to a homeless shelter, etc) Mama Mia's Heart 2 Heart shares about how she set up a box for her toddler to give away toys to their church nursery.

 6. Mail a hug to a sick person.

 7. Take a walk around your neighborhood, carrying a plastic bag and pick up trash as you go.

 8. Write encouraging letters to overseas servicemen or missionaries. Make homemade stickers to include in your note.

 9. Make bookmarks and leave them in library books as a fun surprise.

 10. Involve your child in making homemade gifts to fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child

11.  Make food for an elderly neighbor who cannot cook much for themselves anymore.  Involve your children in the cooking and delivering.  Thanks The Educator's Spin on It!

 Do you have stories of how your family has served others with projects from home or ideas for how you plan to in the future? These are so inspirational to read about. Please do leave a link or explain in a comment!


Desire' said...

Great ideas!  I've been thinking about this issue a lot lately.  Thanks for some inspiration!

Toddler Approved said...

Such a great list of ideas!

Rebekah Patel said...

What an inspiring post! I am going to post it on my Facebook Page, The Golden Gleam. 

Mamamiasheart2heart said...

Thanks for including our donation box.. sharing it on FB & Twitter :)


Sandibeek said...

The other day we ended up with 12 coupons for free Krispy Kreme donuts (Valentine's Day promo).  I took my two kids out for donuts, but we are trying to be healthy, so after one donut each I knew we didn't need the other coupons.  I talked to my near-four year old about how there are people out there that are sick or are worried about their sick family.  She said we should go cheer them up.  We went to the local hospital and I let her pass out the cards in the OR waiting area and the Emergency room.  She loved it!  So did I.  Definitely planning more outings like this one.

Lisa DeGroot said...

I was just thinking and praying about this, this morning. Thanks for all of those ideas! :-)

Katey said...


Katey said...

Thanks, Rebekah!

Thelittleheartsproject said...

Love all the ideas!  I have a blog that feature service project solely intended for young children and have featured one of your ideas previously :)  Check it out at
I may have to share a few of these as well :)

Deanna said...

We keep a baggie of dog food in the car and when we see a homeless person with a dog my son gives it to them. (Then he makes a new baggie when we get home) and when it was cold we would pass out yardsale bought blankets to the homeless.