Service Projects for the Family

Service Projects for the Family

Teaching our children to serve others is one of our primary responsibilities as parents. God has given us the opportunity and the obligation to show our kids that serving other people is God’s way of living. Jesus modeled this type of servant behavior for us, and our children need to see us following Him in caring for the poor, the widow, the orphan, and evangelizing the lost. Serving together with our children teaches them empathy for others and gratitude for the blessings they’ve been given. Serving regularly with our children shows them that caring for others is our ongoing responsibility, not something to be done only on special occasions. The relationships we build while serving others provide us better opportunities for sharing the gospel. Here are a few ideas to get you started serving others with your family:

  • Contact a local ministry and ask if they need help in their office.
  • Help prepare food at a soup kitchen.
  • Contact a local thrift store and ask to help sort donated items.
  • Call a hospice center and ask if there are errands you can run for their patients.
  • Do yard work for an elderly neighbor.
  • Call someone who has recently had a baby and volunteer to take their other children to the park.
  • Bake cookies and take them to the police or fire station.
  • Collect toys for the cancer ward of your children’s hospital.
  • Hold a crayon and coloring book drive for an under privileged daycare.
  • Collect story books from your neighborhood and take them to a daycare that serves under privileged children.
  • Go on a prayer walk around your neighborhood. Pray for each home and the families who live there.
  • Go for a prayer walk through the halls of the hospital.
  • Hold an art camp or dance camp for under privileged children for a week during the summer.
  • Help out with VBS at a church that serves the poor.
  • Tutor students at your community center.
  • Pick up trash and/or do yard work at a church in a poor area.
  • Bake cookies or bring snacks to a community center that provides after school care for low-income families.
  • Go door-to-door in the neighborhood collecting canned goods for a church’s food ministry.
  • Have a lemonade stand or car wash to raise money for a ministry that provides clean water for third world countries.
  • Write thank you notes to veterans and deliver them to the VA hospital.
  • Contact a low-income nursing home to arrange for a hymn sing-a-long or children’s choir performance.
  • Visit a local shelter to pray with the staff.
  • Knit stocking caps and/or blankets and deliver to a cancer clinic.
  • Offer to babysit for an evening for a single mother.
  • Attend a ballgame of children whose mom or dad is deployed with the military.
  • Offer to drive carpool for a family who is going through a difficult season.
  • Invite a new family in your church over for dinner.
  • Write a note of encouragement to a missionary family from your church.
  • Ask a ministry to give you a specific item you can provide for them. Hold a garage sale to raise the money to buy it.
  • Befriend a widow and take your children to visit regularly.
  • Clean out closets and donate gently used clothing, toys, games, and books to the social services department for foster kids to use.
  • Provide respite care for foster parents.
  • Hold a bake sale to raise money to provide school uniforms for a foster child.
  • Cook and deliver a meal to a widower.
  • Offer to take a single mom’s children for the afternoon. Take photos and have a few good ones printed. Surprise the mom with them.
  • Mow the grass of a neighbor who is out of town.
  • Go door-to-door inviting neighbors to your church’s Christmas program or summer picnic.
  • Visit a low-income daycare to read to the children or do craft time.
  • Attend the ballet recital, choir program, or art show of a child who needs a little extra attention.
  • Hold a free car wash for all the neighbors on your street.
  • Make goodie bags for the homeless. Fill a plastic zipper bag with a bottle of water, a pack of crackers, hand wipes, a travel size deodorant and shampoo, and a pair of socks. Keep them in your car and give to people collecting money at intersections.
  • Collect old towels and money for pet food. Deliver to an animal shelter.
  • Pick up trash and pull weeds at a local park or community center.
  • Offer to run errands for an elderly neighbor or church friend. Make a grocery run, swing by the pharmacy, or give them a ride to church.
  • When bad weather is coming, call an elderly neighbor or single mother to check on them. Offer to let them come to your home before the weather hits your area.
  • Help a senior citizens with simple fix-it projects around the house like changing lightbulbs or cleaning gutters.
  • Plant a vegetable garden. Take some of your produce to a local shelter or soup kitchen, or share with a struggling family.
  • Make hand-made Valentine’s Day, MOther’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas (or any other holiday) cards and deliver them to an assisted living facility. Arrange to go during meal time so that you can visit with residents.
  • Plan a fun “family night out” for single-parent families. Show a family friendly movie and serve popcorn.
  • Hold a “dog wash” to raise money for a local animal shelter.

Don’t forget to stay in touch with the people you serve, as building relationships with them is what service is all about. As you build relationships, ask people how you can pray for them, and follow through by praying for their needs together with your children. Prayer and service are powerful ways we can reach our neighbors and our world for Jesus Christ.


  1. So many wonderful ideas! I am always looking for news ideas and ways to serve with the family. Thank you for this, Ashley!

  2. Great list – and a good way to start the summer!

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