Want to help those in need in your community this summer? Looking for ideas for service for kids? Here are 20 unique ways you can help your community and each other.
Summer Service Projects for Kids
- Collect donations for your local food bank. Summer is a time of greater need because families whose children are fed meals at school five days a week find themselves in even greater need. And food bank donations are notoriously low.
- Visit a nursing home to sing or read poetry. This was a service project my oldest son participated in this year with 4-H. Afterwards, the kids walked around and talked to the residents. They were clearly glad that the kids were there. We heard some wonderful stories and saw some beautiful smiles.
- Make a secret water balloon fight delivery , like Pennies of Time did for a family with three young boys and a new baby. This would be great for any parent who is finding it challenging to keep kids occupied this summer.
- Make On-the-Go Bags to keep in your car for the homeless like Thriving Home. Summer items might include bottled water, insect repellant, deodorant, baby wipes, pop-top canned fruit, bags of nuts, single serving peanut butter, etc.
- Pass out cold bottled water to people working outside in the hot sun. Throw a cooler in your car and stop when you see landscapers, construction workers and others working out in the heat.
- Set up a lemonade stand at a senior community or assisted living center. Price of lemonade: one smile.
- Plant flowers, pull weeds and mow the lawn as a surprise for a family who is in crisis. It can be a relief to find that the mowing chore has been done and the flowers may help them to smile.
- Help animals. Collect donations of pet food and kitty litter and drop them off at the local animal shelter. Call the shelter and ask if there is anything else they need.
- Drop off a bag of healthy snacks at the ICU of your local hospital. Families sitting with a critically ill loved one have likely been eating hospital cafeteria food for days or not eating very much. It isn’t something they would think of to ask for help with but are often grateful for. (We have personal experience on both sides with this one.) We’ve dropped food off with a card explaining we’ve been where they are at and we leave it at the nurse’s station so as not to disturb them.
- Challenge your kids to provide service in-house. Do something nice for a family member, for each other. Surprise a sibling by completing their chore one day. They might to do the same for you another day. Offer to help Dad cook dinner or wash mom’s car.
- Make busy bottles for kids in the Emergency Room, like this one from Jill at Meet the Dubiens. One of the several times we’ve been to the ER, my oldest son was given one of these. He loved it. He still has it 5 years later. It made his hospital experience a bit of a better memory, despite the stitches he got in his chin that day from falling off his bike. He held it while they stitched him up and was so touched that other kids had made this for him.
- Stock up on school supplies as they go on sale this summer. You know, those 49 cent boxes of crayons and $1 notebooks? Buy two bags worth and donate one now to homeless shelters, foster care, or directly to schools with kids who may need them. Save the second bag for later in the year when kids need those things again but the prices aren’t as low.
- Leave sidewalk chalk pictures and messages on the driveways and walkways of neighbors as a random act of kindness. It will wash off the next time it rains.
- Pick a Go-Fund-Me site to donate money to. Babies who need surgery, kids fighting cancer, rescue dogs with huge vet care bills. What does your family feel strongly about? What touches your heart?
- “Work with your local high school or college to place empty boxes on campus at the end of school. Collect textbooks for students who need them in Tanzania, Sierra Leone, and other African nations.” This and many more terrific ideas from Kid World Citizen’s 35 Service Projects for Kids.
- You know the organizations that hold dog adoption events outside of pet supply stores? Ask them if you can stop by and offer to fill water bowls or bring pretty bandanas from the dollar store to help the dogs look fancy and more adoptable. Tell them you will help them get the word out about the adoption event by posting it on Facebook or Instagram.
- In fact, spread the word on social media for whatever cause you are supporting. Raise awareness for the cause that touches your heart. Post pictures of your kids helping and let people know what’s needed and how they can help, too.
- Kids who have learned to read can read to younger kids, whether it is siblings at home or new friends in the local library’s children’s section. Create a fun outdoor reading nook in your yard, like this one from Alanna at The Craft Nest and read to younger kids in the neighborhood.
- Share what you grow in your garden. Flowers and vegetables are fun to grow and enjoy and even more fun if you have an abundance to share. Grab some beans or squash or roses, pick a neighbor you don’t know well and offer them some. Open up new conversations.
- Interview a grandparent or elderly family member. Type up what they say and share it electronically with extended family. You can email it or start a Facebook group just for your family to share these memories and important pieces of family history.
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