It is hard not to smile when you look at the children’s artwork on this page. In January, our Kids in Service NH group painted cheerful paintings for the patients at a hospice house. Volunteers visit the residents and ask if they would like to choose one of our paintings to cheer up their room. The painting of their choice gets hung on their bulletin board and it is our hope that everyone who visits their room is brought a little joy in a very difficult situation.
This spring, we partnered with the hospice house again and painted small terra cotta pots. I sealed each one with glaze and then we planted a flower in each pot. The 20 pots were delivered to the patients staying at the hospice house and other hospice patients around the community.
Creating artwork to cheer up hospice patients is a WONDERFUL service project for all ages. You could paint uplifting paintings, make blank greeting cards with the children’s drawings on the front or paint pots like we did. I recommend that you reach out to the volunteer coordinator at your local hospice house and see if they would like children’s art donations.
Hospice is a very difficult and sad concept for young children. I suggest that you tell your children that you are painting happy art for people who are sick in the hospital. That is all they need to know to be invested in this project. I am sure that their art donation will not only bring a little joy into the patient’s heart but the hearts of their family as well.
Kids in Service NH partnered with Shepherd’s Food Pantry and St. Matthew’s Church for a once a month service project called, the Brown Bag Delivery Project. Once a month, it is our job to help deliver the food that is collected on Brown Bag Sunday at St. Matthew’s and deliver it to Shepherd’s Food Pantry. This project is PERFECT for ALL AGES and it is one that helps so many people in the community.
Here is what Kids in Service Mom Kristen had to say about their experience:
Justin and I went to St. Mathew’s church on Sunday evening. He thought it was pretty cool because he got to wear pajamas (since it was so close to bed time). While we waited for the church service to end, we sat in the car and talked about what we were going to do. Justin was excited to bring the food to people who need some extra help. When people started to leave the church, we went to work! Justin liked using his “strong muscles” to bring the bags to the car. Justin and I made 4 trips back and forth to the car before 2 women noticed what we were doing and asked if they could help. The two of them were able to pick up the big bin of food and make it to the car in one trip. Justin was very impressed and happy that they helped us out. We thanked them and took the food back to our house (leaving it in the car overnight).
In the morning we drove the food to Shepherd’s Pantry in the POURING rain. I have to admit I was not looking forward to unloading all of the food and getting soaked. But it turns out I didn’t need to even think about getting soaked. As soon as I drove up, three volunteers came to my car with shopping carriages and unloaded all of the food in just a couple of minutes! The volunteers were so grateful and kind to both of my children in the car. On the ride home Justin asked a few questions about why people needed extra help with food. It ended up being a great discussion and I believe it was a great learning experience for both of us!
This project is flexible and you do not need a mini-van or a large SUV to participate. With a little creativity, I know we could fit all of the food in my husband’s Toyota Corolla. Most of the food is in shopping bags, which makes it perfect for little hands to help carry food to the car. This project is a great opportunity to discuss all of the blessings that you have in your life and how important it is to share those blessings with others. This is a very simple, family service experience that is FREE, does not take a lot of time and best of all it helps serve the community!!
We were away Mother’s Day weekend, so I made arrangements with St. Matthew’s to come and get the food on Monday morning and we brought it straight to Shepherd’s Food pantry (this is an EASY option). We left our house at 8:09am and were back by 8:40am!! We have done this project two times now and it is always so much fun working together on a common goal.
If you and your family live in Southern, NH and you would like to participate in the Kids in Service Brown Bag Delivery Project, please email us at email@example.com.
Food pick up can be done at St. Matthew’s on either Sunday at 7pm after the last mass or between 7:30-10:00am on Monday (you need to make arrangements if it is before 9am). Food drop off at Shepherd’s Pantry is on Monday between 6:30-10:30am.
Recently our Kids in Service NH group came together to make Homeless Bags and Dignity Bags for a local homeless shelter. All of the bags included necessary items to help with hygiene and comfort. The children made cards with uplifting messages and drawings for each bag so that the recipient would know that they are special.
The Dignity Bags that we packed (I did this project with older children) were so appreciated. I spoke with one woman who said that being homeless is tough enough but being a homeless woman is really challenging. Homeless shelters do not always have feminine products available. These are not items that are donated often and there is such a demand for them.
Making bags for the homeless is one of my favorite service projects to do with a group. We were able to make 32 bags when we did this project. Each family was in charge of bringing a group of items (32 granola bars etc.) and we split up the more expensive items. Below you will find some suggestions for items for your bags. Many of these items can be collected on hotel stays (shampoo, soap, lotion etc.). You need not include all of the items below, these are just some ideas.
Item Ideas for a Homeless Bag
large plastic bag (gallon size)
pair of socks
bar of soap (with a small plastic bag so they can store the used soap for future showers)
travel bottle of shampoo
toothbrush and toothpaste
granola or cereal bars
travel bottle of hand lotion
a sweet treat (be careful to include items that won’t melt if it is summer)
A Note or Drawing of Encouragement
Item Ideas for a Dignity Bag
All of the Items Above
razor and shaving cream
Things not to Include
Anything that Includes Alcohol (hand sanitizer, mouthwash, perfume etc.)
Anything that is expired or that will spoil quickly
Makayla Waters (age 12) and Lily Levesque (age 11) of Salem, NH spent one evening putting together dignity bags for homeless women in Lawrence, MA. They were inspired after reading an article called, The Homeless Period. Many homeless women have to choose between sanitary products and food each month with the little money that they have. These INCREDIBLE pre-teens decided to take action and put together dozens of bags during a weekend sleepover. Makayla and Lily, thank you so much for being such thoughtful and INCREDIBLE kids!!
Check out the bottom of this post for tips on how to hold a safe fundraiser during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hosting a fundraiser for charity is a WONDERFUL way to help your children make a difference in their community or in the greater world. Lemonade stands and bake sales (or a combination) are great ways for children to work and raise money for a charity they believe in.
The lemonade and cookie stand above was run by my children and their cousins on a hot spring day. We had permission to set up the stand and all of their ingredients were donated. They helped to bake the cookies, make the lemonade, create the signs and set up the stand. They had set prices but asked each customer if they would like their change (most said “NO”) and the kids raised over $60 for the NH Food Bank.
Tips to have a successful fundraiser:
Get the ingredients donated (have your parents, grandparents or neighbors donate your ingredients so that all money raised can be donated to charity)
Make sure to wash your hands when handling all food and drink!!
Post any allergens in your baked goods (nuts, wheat, dairy, eggs etc.)
Make sure your city or town does not require a permit for hosting a charitable lemonade stand or bake sale.
Set up in a high traffic area (but make sure you have permission to be there if it is not private property).
Make sure you have adult supervision!
Have a box with change.
Make signs with your prices and the charity you will be donating to.
Make sure you have plenty of cups, napkins and ice in a cooler to keep your lemonade cold.
Additional Tips to have a safe and successful fundraiser during COVID-19 Pandemic:
Wear a mask so that your customers feel safe.
Sell pre-packaged drinks and snacks instead of baked goods and homemade lemonade
Have hand sanitizer at your stand for you and your customers to use
Tessa Has Changed Her Community Through Baking Cookies
Can a Cookie Change the World? by Rhonda Boiling –This is a new book to me and I absolutely LOVED it. What a great message for children that they CAN make a big difference in their community (and the world). Tessa at age 7, wanted to help the local homeless population and decided to raise money at the local Christmas Bazaar by baking cookies. This small idea turned into an annual cause that the community has rallied behind. Kids Cookie’s for a Cause has raised thousands of dollars for many different charities and causes. Tessa is an INCREDIBLE kid! This book would be perfect or ages 5 and up and 70% of the proceeds of this book, go to charity!
Children Who Have Made a Difference with Lemonade Stands
There are countless stories on the internet of children organizing successful lemonade stands for charity. Here are four sweet stories of four INCREDIBLE kids.
Alex’s Lemonade is an organization that was started by Alex Scott while she was fighting childhood cancer. She hosted a lemonade stand at age 4 in her yard to raise money for childhood cancer research and raised over $2,000. Before her death in 2004, Alex had raised over $1,000,000 for charity. Alex’s parents set up a non-profit in her memory and children all over the world hold lemonade stands in the month of June to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. If you would like to sign up to participate in this fundraiser, please click HERE. Alex was an INCREDIBLE Kid!
Ella, who was born with a cleft lip, raised over $19,000 for the charity Smile Train with her first lemonade stand. Smile Train provides the funds for children with cleft lips, to have surgery to correct their lips. Ella had cleft lip surgery when she was a baby and wanted to organize the stand to help children just like her who couldn’t afford the surgery. She now holds a lemonade stand every year on her birthday and it is believed she has raised over $120,000.
This young boy heard that the family of one of his classmates was struggling to put food on the table and he knew he wanted to help. He set up a local lemonade stand and raised over $500 for his local food bank. This donation purchased over 2,000 pounds of food for the food bank shelves. Logan is an INCREDIBLE kid!
Meet Mikaila, she was 4 years old and when she was stung by 2 bees in one week. She decided to take that experience and learn something about the insects that scared her. After learning all about bees and the danger they face, she started a lemonade stand to raise money to help save the bees. Fast forward to today and she has turned that little stand into a profitable business with a non-profit organization to help educate and save the honeybees. She was even on Shark Tank and you can find her Me and the Bees Lemonade at Whole Foods and other small grocery stores! This little entrepreneur is an INCREDIBLE kid.
Winter is now one of my favorite seasons. I use to dread the cold and long winter months but now that I have found the concept of hygge, I come to crave this time each year. I love this chance to slow down, get cozy and spend time with family and friends.
If you are looking for some cozy service projects this winter, we have a few suggestions for you and your family. These are projects that you can do from the comfort of your home.
1. Project Linus-–Click HERE to learn all about this cozy and important service project. No sewing skills required!!
2. Thank You Notes–Have you thanked your loved ones for the thoughtful gifts they gave you over the holidays? Have you thanked your parent or care giver lately? Have you thanked your teacher, your coach, bus driver or librarian for all they do for you? EVERYONE loves mail! Bless one or more people in your life with a card or note thanking them for all they do to help and support you. This is a project for all ages, as the littles can draw and adults can scribe the note of thanks and gratitude. Make writing thank you notes a regular practice in your home. This simple activity will teach an important lesson in gratitude, respect and connection (not to mention it will help them practice their drawing and/or writing).
3. Project Appreciation–For this SWEET project you need to gather everyone in the kitchen and think of a community group that you would like to thank. Click HERE for more details about Mission of Appreciation.
4. Project Dollar Store–This is such a fun project and can be easily prepared while sitting in front of a cozy fire. Click HERE to learn more about this SECRET MISSION OF LOVE!
5. Project Feeder Watch–This is a project of love for the birds in your backyard (and maybe the squirrels too). Place a feeder in your yard in a place that you can easily see from a window in your home. Keep the feeder up from early November-the beginning of April and enjoy the birds that come to your yard each day. Watching birds from the window is a very relaxing activity and a great learning experience for the whole family. Grab a few bird books from you library to learn the names of the birds in your yard. If you sign up for Project Feeder Watch through Cornell, you will be sent a poster of the birds in your area. Project Feeder Watch asks its members to count the birds for a period of time over two days a week (10 min is all you need) and submit the data online to their website. This data is used for their scientific study about the birds in different areas and the migration patterns. We LOVE this project and love to take care of the birds in our yard all winter long.
6. Cards for Healthcare Workers
Healthcare workers are working harder than ever during this COVID-19 pandemic. Why not show them some appreciation by making cards for your local hospital.
7. Art for Nursing Homes
Nursing Home residents are unable to accept visitors at this time. Have your children paint some bright and cheery artwork to cheer them up during these dark times.
This is such a fun project and can be easily prepared while sitting in front of a cozy fire. Both of my kids loved being “ninjas” as they secretly spread out the baggies of love all over our local dollar store. Will you and your family accept this mission of LOVE?
Your Mission: Put together baggies with $1 dollar bills and messages of love. Spread them all over the dollar store with out being detected. Drive away with love in your hearts.
Supplies: ziplock baggies, $1 bills, sticky notes or paper and tape, writing/coloring tools
Procedure: Have your children write some positive messages on the sticky notes or paper (they can also draw simple pictures or color over your notes in crayon if they are not writing yet). Add a note that tells the person to use this dollar to buy something for themselves. Attach one note to each $1 bill and place the bill in the baggie. Zip up the baggie and then get ready for some SECRET FUN! Drive to the local dollar store and hide these baggies all over the store. On the way home you can imagine together how people will react when they find your kind gesture of love.
Did you complete this mission?
Take pictures of the process and email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.