Blogging Through the Alphabet: Y is for Yes I Can!
Posted by Leah Courtney in parenting | Comments : 2
We have done many kinds of service together as a family. It is true that serving with children requires some planning and thought. But learning to serve while they are young is very important. Children who learn the value of serving others and see service modeled by their parents learn that serving others is important.
Over the years we've served in many ways.
1. We pack shoe boxes for Samaritan's Purse. If you've never packed a shoe box, I encourage you to go to their site and learn about this awesome opportunity. Each year in the fall, people all over the country- and even from other countries such as Canada and England- pack shoe boxes with small toys, toiletries, stationary, and other items. These shoe boxes are delivered through churches or community groups to distribution centers all over the country. Workers at the centers check, pack and label boxes. Then the boxes are loaded onto shipping containers to be delivered to needy countries. Children from these areas can receive the shoe boxes. Along with the box, they receive a gospel booklet and an opportunity to join a Bible study to learn more about God.
We've packed shoe boxes since the older kids were toddlers. And last year, Kathryne and I had the opportunity to go to our local distribution center and help. It is so awesome to hear the stories of the children who receive these boxes and the children and families who come to Christ because of a shoe box gift.
2. We volunteer for the local Children's Attention Home. This is a local organization that is an emergency shelter for abused/neglected children. They house children on a temporary basis until they can find foster homes or go back to their home. Volunteering here is an excellent opportunity for the kids because they can meet and play with other kids, and it gives them an opportunity to see that not all kids have the privileges they have.
We have collected supplies. We have gone and played with children. We have helped with a field day. We have helped man their booth at festivals to spread the word about their ministry.
3. We have collected and donated school supplies. Our church as well as a local homeless shelter collect school supplies at the beginning of school year. The kids love to pick out extra supplies and donate a set.
4. We have taken food to our local women's warming shelter. Our Salvation Army branch operates a men's shelter and women's shelter when the weather turns cold. People can check in at dark in the evening and receive a meal and a bed. This past winter, we connected with other homeschoolers who were serving, and we took food several times. The women were very appreciative, and it was a good experience for the kids to get to see the needs these ladies had.
5. We serve as church mice for our church. Church mice creep around in the sanctuary during the week to prepare for the next week's services. They straighten hymnals and Bibles. They make sure trash in the pews is picked up, and they make sure pencils are sharpened and ready to be used for note taking or filling out a visitor card. We've done this every December since the older kids were small. It is nice to be in the church all decorated for December, and it has always been something I could teach the kids to do and let them actually do on their own.
We've made service a vital part of our lives. We've said "Yes, we can serve with our kids!" And the benefits are already beginning to show. Both of our older kids look for opportunities to serve. They both help in church with younger kids. And they are willing to serve when asked.
Yes, you can serve with your children. It may take some planning, and it may seem like one more thing to do when your kids are small. But making service a regular part of your life will encourage your kids to do the same as they grow.
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