Empathy, Kindness

Project Seeds of Kindness

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A few years ago my Kids in Service group made Seeds of Kindness.  After reading the book, Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson, I was inspired to find a simple way for the kids in my group to start their own Pay it Forward project.  

Each family was given this cute little smile bag that I found on Oriental Trading and some emoji magnets (also from Oriental Trading).  The kids made happy pictures with uplifting messages on them, “You are Special!”Thanks for Being YOU!” and enclosed the magnet inside of their folded up picture.  They were then encouraged to pass out their Seeds of Kindness to the people that they encountered over the summer.

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Will you and your family accept this mission of KINDNESS?

Your Mission:  Create simple Seeds of Kindness to help brighten the day of the people you meet when you are out and about in the world.

Supplies:  paper, drawing materials, a bag to hold the Seeds of Kindness so you can take them on the go (a ziplock works great).

Optional Supplies: fun magnets, a dollar scratch ticket, single stemmed flowers, a happy eraser, a pretty stone, $5 gift card for a coffee (the possibilities are endless).

Procedure: Work as a family to create happy and uplifting drawings.  Everyone who can hold a crayon without eating it can participate in this part! Write uplifting messages on the drawings (You are Special, You are One of a Kind, Thanks for Being You, You are going a Great Job, Thanks for Being a Light in this World, Thanks for your Smiles etc.).  Fold up the drawings into small squares (“seeds”) and put them in a bag of your choice so you can take them with you on the go.

Optional:  Add a fun magnet, a dollar scratch ticket, a flower a happy eraser, a pretty stone or a $5 gift card for coffee or lunch to the seeds.

Keep the Seeds of Kindness with you in the car or while you are on the go and when you see someone who has gone above and beyond or someone who looks like they could use a pick me up, give them a Seed of Kindness.  Perhaps the mailman looks a little blue, the woman at the checkout was extra friendly or a mom with screaming children looks like she could use some kindness.  These Seeds of Kindness are meant to be spread around and given to EVERYONE.  My family loves to give them to the toll attendants (along with a $5 gift card at the Holidays) and their reactions are alway priceless.

featured, Kindness, Making a Difference, Pay it Forward Summer, Service Projects for Families

Art for Hospice

Make a Difference May

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.

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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.

Make a Difference May-11

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.

Kindness, Making a Difference, Service Projects for Families

The Brown Bag Project

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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.

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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!!

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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 communityserviceforkids@gmail.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. 

 

Incredible Kids, Kindness, Making a Difference, Quick Service Projects

Bags for the Homeless

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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

chapstick

wash cloth

hand wipes

travel bottle of hand lotion

comb

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

women’s underwear

feminine products

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

Make a Difference May-4

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!!

Gratitude, hygge for families, Kindness

Project Appreciation


For this sweet project you need to gather everyone in the kitchen to bake together.  I know what you are thinking parents…do I want to have to clean up a big mess?  Wouldn’t it be easier to bake the treats myself?  I promise that involving your kids (even the little guys) will be a much more rewarding service project.  Trust me, it will be worth it!

Will you and your family accept this mission of APPRECIATION?

Your Mission:  Bake a sweet treat for a group of people who serve your community.  Have your children create a thank you note to go along with the treat.  Deliver the treat and let that group know how much you appreciate all they do.

Supplies:  a kitchen, baking supplies, the ingredients for a NUT FREE treat (cookies, brownies, cupcakes etc), a container that you are willing to give away, paper and writing/coloring tools

Procedure: Pick a community group that your family would like to bake for. Perhaps you bring the treats to the fire station, the police station, the librarians, your school custodians, the workers at the town dump, the town employees, the postal workers, the snow plow drivers or your parish office.  The possibilities are endless for this project!!

Work together to bake a sweet treat like cookies, cupcakes or brownies (try to keep everything nut free and label that you did so).  Package the treats up in a container that you are willing to give away (saving a few for family hygge time) and create a thank you card to go along with the treats (click here for a FREE Kids in Service Thank You Card Printable).  Deliver the treats as a family to the intended community group.  Try to coordinate the drop off time with the hours that they are open.

www.kidsinservice.net

This is one of my favorite hands-on service projects for kids and it can be done with ages 2 and up.  Who will you and your children bake for???

Did you complete this mission?  

Take pictures of the process and email them to us at communityserviceforkids@gmail.com.  

We’d love to include your children in our Incredible Kids of the month!

 

 

Kindness, Making a Difference, Pay it Forward Summer, Service Projects for Families

Project Dollar Store

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 communityserviceforkids@gmail.com.  

We’d love to include your children in our Incredible Kids of the month!