Service Projects Children Can Do
If you are interesed in doing community service as a family, understand that a lot of agencies may have age limits on children's hands-on participation. Make sure you know what their policies are before showing up to help.
You will also need to take your child's attention span and maturity level into consideration when bringing them along on a service project as they may only be interested in helping for a few minutes (or not at all!). Not only could this limit your capacity as a volunteer, but it could prove to be destructive to an organized project. Have a back-up plan in the event this happens or don't sign up to volunteer in the first place. There are many other things you can do with your children until they are old enough to be active and engaged helpers.
There have also been many times when my child could not actually DO what I was doing but she could SEE what I was doing and was with me when I was volunteering.
Here are is a sampling of some service activites we have engaged our daughter in since she was an infant:
- Visited elderly neighbors.
- Donated and delivered food, toiletries, clothing and other household items to various charitable organizations.
- Donated homemade artwork to the elderly and senior centers.
- Sorted and organized items for a fundraising yard sale.
- Picked out yarn together to make blankets for a blanket ministry.
- Made and delivered meals to individuals and families during difficult times.
- Delivered flyers to various businesses and apartment complexes to promote a non-profit fundraising event.
- Volunteered at concerts at our church doing "security" (basically, guarding a stairwell so people without tickets didn't go the wrong way!).
- Taken her with us when we read to children at an at-risk school in our community.
- Volunteered in various capacities with Meals on Wheels.
- Volunteered in the younger classrooms during special church services, like Christmas and Easter.
- Participated in an Angel Tree program for needy children and selected a female child who was of the same age as our daughter. We let our daughter help pick out the gifts, wrap them, and then delivered them back to the church.
- Made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a soup kitchen.
Other ideas that can involve young children are marked with an asterick (*) on the lists under the "Service Projects Ideas" tab.
Finally, remember that your family's safety comes first in whatever you do!