Thursday, August 8, 2013

Being His Hands & Feet in the Community

In December, it seems our communities become inundated with hands and feet.  Charitable giving is at all-time highs.  Maybe because tis' the season for love, peace, and joy?  Maybe to ease guilty consciences who spent way to much at the mall on ME & MINE? or Maybe to ensure a tax right off just in the St. Nick of time? 

Whatever the motivation, as followers of Christ, we need to be mindful of the needs always around us... every month, every day!  If we desire to share God's love and point others to Him, we must model for and teach our children to serve all year long.  Within our communities, there are so many opportunities to get involved.  Just a few suggestions...

1) Volunteer to serve meals
Does your community have a soup kitchen or shelter?  Group home?  Usually families can serve together in these venues.  Whether dishing out food, clearing dishes, or chatting with the people everyone can be involved.

2) Volunteer to serve at clothes closets, food panties, pregnancy resource centers, etc.
Can your family volunteer time to sort and organize donations?  Could you help those in need shop for necessary items?  I know my kiddos have loved being able to help their grandparents stock canned goods at a local food pantry.

3) Have a drive and  collect items for local charities
  • canned goods/non-perishables
  • school supplies
  • toiletries and personal items
  • baby care items
  • fans/air conditioners in the summer
  • hats, scarves, gloves, and warm socks in the winter
One group of people that my kiddos have become keenly aware of are the homeless.  A couple years back, as a Sunday School project, we put together bags to keep in our vehicles to give to the homeless men and women we'd pass along the road.  The plastic bags contained bottled water, snack crackers, canned tuna, slim jims, small toiletries, $5 McDonald's gift cards, etc.  In our rural area, we actually didn't have a lot of opportunities to share these bags, but as we traveled into the more populated cities we always found those in need.
Since moving right outside of Nashville, our experiences with homeless people have greatly increased.  The kids are quick to point out anyone they see with a cardboard sign.  Whether we pass a bag or a few bucks out the window or purchase one of the $1 news publications being sold, we are able to ask the person's name and pray that God blesses them.  Our children are learning to look all people in the eyes and know that each and everyone is a cherished, loved child of God. 
In what ways do you serve your community as a family?  How are you modeling and teaching your children to be His hands and feet?

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 previous posts in this series Being His Hands & Feet Through Sponsorship , Being His Hands & Feet Globally (from right where you are). and Being His Hands & Feet in Times of Tragedy.  There are some phenomenal bloggers participating in this blog hop and so many fabulous topics.  I guarantee you will find something of interest to read. Click below!

Summer Blog Hop


Diane said...

We have tried a few different volunteering endeavors over the past couple of years but still haven't found that one thing that we can be passionate about. Last year I started a teen outreach for volunteering and we did some wonderful things. Looking forward to what this year has in store for us in that arena.

Karyn Tripp said...

Great post! This is something I have really been wanting to work on more with my family. Thanks for the ideas!

LaughingLioness said...

"Our children are learning to look all people in the eyes and know that each and everyone is a cherished, loved child of God." Beautifull written- the homeless so often become "invisible" - I love the idea of gift bags to hand around. A friend of mine makes homemade, moisturizing soap for a homeless shelter. the important things is to do something!