This summer, you may have plans to play, relax, and reconnect with family! Summertime can also be a great opportunity to serve others in our community!
Central Florida Mom, Tiffany, will join Ellis and me each Thursday in June and July with ideas on how your family can serve others. Listen on Thursdays at 8:15 a.m. for a new challenge to conquer! We can’t wait to hear how it goes! Let’s make memories and serve others together this summer!
Week One: Declutter and Donate
Use the summer months to clean out the closets and bedroom. Find the items that you and the kids aren’t using anymore. It feels good to declutter and you can bless others at the same time. You can donate your items to places like the Sharing Center but also places you may not think of initially. Check with your local police department, fire station, daycare, or your church…even local shelters. There are all kinds of places that would likely use the items that are just taking up space in your house.
Week Two: Volunteer at VBS
If you have teenagers, check with your local church to see if they need help with VBS. VBS is a ton of work and most churches need extra hands. Some churches may even have opportunities to help beforehand with prep (some of things can even be done from home) or afterward with clean up. If your church isn’t hosting a VBS, you can find one that is using our VBS Connection.
Week Three: Serve Our Neighbors
There are so many ways we can serve the people around us. One idea is to carry some $5 gift cards with you. When you see a community hero, you can thank them for what they do and also bless them with a gift card. We can also be looking out for the our elderly neighbors. You could offer to help them with tasks around their yard or home as a family. Even bring them a homemade treat or offering to just sit and visit with them can be a huge blessing.
Week Four: Blessing Bags for the Homeless
Visit the store with the kids and pick out different nonperishable items (snacks, hygiene products, small water bottles, etc). Have the kids pack small paper bags with all the items you selected. You could even include a Bible verse or note of encouragement. The kids can write it themselves or draw a picture to go with it. Keep the bags in the car and hand them out when you or the kids see someone they could bless with it.
Week Five: Random Acts of Kindness
Look for small ways your family can bless those around you. You could pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru or leave a gas gift card at the gas pump. But it’s even more fun if you let your kids come up with the ideas. Kids really do see people differently and they might even teach us a thing or two.
Week Six: Cards for Our Troops
Get out the markers and crayons and let the kids create homemade card for our troops, thanking them for their service to our country. Have the kids add their drawings and decorations to the card and write a note of encouragement and thanks. There are many organizations that will deliver yours cards to our servicemen and women. You can do a quick search to find a whole list but here are a few options:
If you want to take it a step further, you can also make a care package! Thousands of service members are deployed all around the world, separated from family, friends and the comforts of home. A care package can be a great way to show our gratitude. Here are a few different organizations to check out.
Week Seven: Grocery Store Blessing
This one is super easy to do in your everyday life. Next time you are checking out at the grocery store and you have the kids with you, have them ask the cashier and bagger what their favorite candy bar is. They are usually happy to answer to make conversation. Have the kids pick out that candy and purchase it with your groceries. After you’re done checking out, let the kids give the candy to employees. It’s a small surprise but they are normally so grateful!
Week Eight: Blessing our Teachers
As the summer wraps up, many of central Florida’s teachers and school administrators are already preparing for our students to come back to school. In the week or two before school starts, stop by the school with donuts, snacks, coffee, or even notes of encouragement and drop it off at the office. It’s a super easy way to bless them and let them know that they are loved as they get ready for another great year with our kids.