Find a family service project you can do together this month to make a difference in the life of someone in need.
TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN THE VALUE OF HELPING OTHERS
When I was a child, my parents signed us up as a family to sponsor a child in Uganda. Every night at the dinner table we prayed for this little girl that we did not know and would never meet. I still remember writing her letters and the excitement of receiving a yearly photo to see what she looked like.
It was a teachable moment for me and my siblings. We couldn’t write to her about how much stuff we had gotten for Christmas and our family photos needed to be simple–outside by a tree without showing the four bedroom home we lived in. It wasn’t about deceit, it was about humility.
We learned to tithe in church and to visit the elderly—even when it was uncomfortable. I was expected to go on mission trips with my youth group and send cards to people my age who didn’t have many friends.
THE GREATEST COMMAND
It was taught to me at a young age, that people matter, and that Jesus calls us to love one another, regardless of skin color, age, even beliefs. We are called to simply love the people around us.
We don’t need to inform our children on every current event happening in the world right now, we need to put into action what Jesus said was the greatest commandment of all:
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”Matthew 22:36-40
So let’s teach our children how to love others just as Jesus did. Let’s show them that everyone is equally important and worthy of love.
Here are a few family service projects you can try as a way to teach your children the value of helping and loving others.
1. HELP DISASTER VICTIMS
GET OUT THERE: Volunteer with the Red Cross to help with disaster relief.
2. HELP ANIMALS
FROM HOME: Adopt a pet from your local animal shelter.
GET OUT THERE: Volunteer to work with animals.
3. HELP YOUR COMMUNITY
FROM HOME: Help support a local park by donating to the National Park Service.
GET OUT THERE: Organize a clean-up crew in your neighborhood through Keep America Beautiful.
4. HELP CHILDREN
FROM HOME: Sponsor a child from another country. Monthly donations provide food, shelter, education, and medicine for your child. You can even write letters and send pictures.
GET OUT THERE: Join Big Brothers Big Sisters and become a role model by playing games and getting to know a child in need in your community.
5. HELP THE ELDERLY
FROM HOME: Assemble walker or wheelchair bags to mail to seniors in nursing homes.
GET OUT THERE: Visit a nursing home and play cards with the locals.
6. HELP THE SICK
FROM HOME: Knit hats to send to cancer patients.
GET OUT THERE: Grab some friends and go on a walk/run to raise money for cancer research.
7. HELP THE POOR
FROM HOME: Donate gently used clothes and items to Salvation Army or places that help others.
GET OUT THERE: Find a homeless shelter and work in the soup kitchen.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…
Looking for a Christmastime family service project? Check out these ideas:
- Send a shoebox filled with items for kids in other countries with Healing Hands International.
- Donate a toy to a child in need through Toys for Tots.
- Choose a family to sponsor off an Angel Tree through the Salvation Army.
You can also read more of my posts like this one here:
- Burp Cloths that Real Moms Will Actually Use
- How to Make a No-Sew Baby Blanket
- Discovering Your Personal Spiritual Gifts and Practical Ways to Use Them
- 10 Spiritual Goals to Have and How to Work Toward Them
- 30 Day Challenge: Write Something You’re Grateful For Each Day
You are making a difference!
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