Yesterday's blog post definitely had a global perspective, but as I feel so passionately about child sponsorship it morphed into an entire post of its own. Still there are sooooo many ways that we can get our children involved in serving the world and sharing the love of Jesus even when they may be to young to travel to far off lands and places. I'm just going to hit some highlights and offer suggestions based on things we have done in the past and are planning to do in the future.
Operation Christmas Child
One of our favorite ways to serve is through packing Operation Christmas Child boxes. The kids each pack at least one box for a child the same age and gender as they are. This personalizes the experience, and it is as if they are shopping for a friend. They also draw pictures and write letters to be included in their box, and last year we were able to track our box and knew its final destination.
All year long, we are able to pick up trinkets and treasures, save happy meal toys, and hold on to travel size toiletries. Actually, with back to school sales, now is a great time to grab small items for your shoeboxes. Don't forget end of season clearance racks as well. T-shirts are fairly cheap right now.
Often our kiddos take the fully stocked pantry and fridge for granted and forget that hunger and starvation are very real problems in our world. Two of my kiddos still recall a time in their early lives where they lacked food to eat, so meal packing is very meaningful to them. Knowing they are helping other children have nutritious food brings an immediate smile to their faces.
There are a number of organizations that are involved with meal packing. Often, a church serves as a host site and volunteers from the congregation and community work together to pack a large number of meals. With our church, we packed a million meals for Haiti. We're looking forward to another meal packing session this fall. Possibly there is a meal packing event near you... or maybe your church can host one soon!
There are always needs. Some are great and some are small, but we can all do something to tackle a need. We have partnered with various organizations and ministries over the years. Last summer, we volunteered to host an Anti-Fungal Cream drive for AHOPE in Ethiopia. We have worked with UniKids to collect school supplies for children in Ethiopia. The possibilities are endless. Connect with a group that you believe in and are passionate about their work. Identify and/or ask them about a need. Then, grab the kids and hit the pavement. Mom - don't forget you social media circles too.
Malaria nets, mattresses, HIV/AIDS medication, goats, chickens, Bibles, etc. At one point or another, we have financially contributed to and/or purchased these items for things in need. Often we have involved the children in making the decision as to what to purchase, but moving forward, we'd like them to also be involved in the act of purchasing. Thus, there will be some fundraising on their parts.
They already earn an allowance, and each week they are supposed to designate some of their earnings as "GIVE" money. Absolutely, they are welcome to use these funds, but we're going to encourage them to do more. How will that look? Possibly...
- do extra chores/odd jobs for family and friends to earn more money
- have a yard sale, lemonade stand, bake sale, etc.
- have an ____-a-thon to earn money (walk-a-thon, bike-a-thon, read-a-thon)
- write a letter to friends/family and ask them to support whatever project they are working towards
I'm blogging 5 Days of Being His Hands & Feet as a part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew's 5 Days Blog Hop. Be sure and check out my Day 1 post. There are some phenomenal bloggers and many fabulous topics. I guarantee you will find something of interest to read. Click below!