Hey friends —
Can you believe we’re almost halfway into summer vacation? Wow is time flying by!
I’m wondering if you’ve you heard the “b” word yet? You know how it goes —
“Mom, we’re bored! There is nothing to do!”
Thankfully, I have come to the healthy conclusion that my kids’ boredom does not equal my problem.
And my kids are coming to the realization that when they start whining and whimpering, I’m gonna either send them outside to be bored all on their own, give them a chore list, or pull out a list of ways they can put their boredom in action.
And that, my friends, can be a beautiful thing.
A few weeks ago, my kids were using the “b” word. I loaded them up and transplanted them to a beautiful lakeside library so they could be bored surrounded by books.
Thankfully we happened to bump into good friends at the library — including my sweet friend Jen Knapp.
I knew Jen and her family were preparing for an upcoming trip to Uganda, and it was helpful to hear firsthand the needs of these precious kids in Uganda.
Before I knew it, the kids had put together – all by themselves – a bake sale/lemonade stand on our neighborhood corner.
Confession: I did donate Krispy Kremes for them to sell because #1 – I don’t bake. #2 – I didn’t have on any make-up and wanted to go through a drive-thru. Keepin’ it real.
Three hours later, my gang had $100+ to give to Jen to buy shoes for the orphans in Uganda. Yes, $100+ from a lemonade stand.
The good news: when my girls met with Jen to give her the $100+, Jen showed them a quick 2 minute Sole Hope video to see where there money would be going. (Thanks, Jen!) My girls decided to host another bake sale/lemonade stand to do it again so even more kids could have shoes. Woo Hoo!
And guess what? They raised $100+ again to buy even more shoes for the kids of Uganda! Way to go, gang!
The next time you hear the “b” word, or feel bored yourself — may I challenge you to look for ways to make a difference in someone’s life.
For a fun list to get you started, here’s a powerful list of ways to serve by blogger extraordinaire Kristen at We Are That Family.
Thank you, Kristen, for giving permission for me to share your list of 100+ ways for your family to make a difference with my *She Sparkles* friends. Enjoy!
1. Babysit for a single mom
2. Teach compassion with a Family Giving Box
3. Write a Family Mission Statement
4. Bake cookies for your local fire dept.
5. Pick up trash at local park as a family field trip
6. Create snack packs for Ronald McDonald residents
7. Welcome a new family to the neighborhood with a dessert and introduction
8. Pray for the poor of the world
9. Color a Smile-print coloring page to be given to lift someone in need up
10. Make a baby care kit for a baby in need
11. Take time each week to unplug as a family
12. Donate your time or treasure to the Make a Wish Foundation
13. Appreciate your church staff in some small, tangible way
14. Do yard work for an elderly neighbor
15. Make a Life Book for a child in Foster Care
16. Read You Were Made to Make A Difference as a family
17. Volunteer to cuddle babies at the hospital (older kids/teens are often allowed also)
18. Read Christmas Jars as family
19. Save loose change in a jar and give to a needy family at Christmas
20. Take a family volunteering vacation
21. Stop and say thank you to grocery clerks, waitresses. Ask them how they are doing.
22. Become a monthly sponsor to help pregnant girls in Kenya
23. Make a birthday cake for an underpriviledged child
24. Serve at home: make each other’s beds, clean up someone else’s mess
25. Write thank you notes to people who serve you: postman, yard guy, doctor, etc
26. Sponsor a child monthly (cannot recommend enough)
27. Make relief kits for disaster relief victims
28. Sew a sleeping bag for someone in need (easy pattern)
29. Volunteer at a non-profit
30. Make up some Hygiene Bags to pass out to local homeless people
31. Take your family on a tour of Red Cross
32. Put a monthly date on the calendar for a Family Service Night
33. Take a meal to a new family
34. Create a card for Habitat for Humanity new home owner
35. Encourage your older children to be a Mother’s Helper to a mom with young kids
36. Fill a backpack to help give a homeless person a lift up
37. Make birthday cards and deliver them to a local nursing home monthly
38. Donate books to Africa
39. Take your kids to a local Food Pantry with canned goods to donate
40. Deliver food for Meals on Wheels
41. Pray as a family on a regular basis for the people in your life.
42. Donate your hair to Locks of Love.
43. Give blood. (Take your kids with you and explain the importance).
44. Donate nice toys to cancer ward at a Children’s Hospital
45. Buy a mosquito net and help prevent malaria
46. Randomly celebrate each other with a special treat, meal, time
47. Donate school supplies to a classroom in need
48. Compliment and thank the teachers in your life
49. Buy a soccer ball for a child in poverty
50. Give a used bike to a homeless person
51. Donate coloring books/crayons to hospital emergency rooms
52. Host a 40 hour famine in your home (fast something!)
53. Give clothes to a family in need (call your church/school to find one)
54. Read to a special needs child
55. Only drink water for 2 weeks, give proceeds for clean water
56. Buy a goat for a family in extreme poverty
57. Give a donation in someone’s name to an organization you believe in
58. Send your used shoes to Reuse-a-Shoe
59. Become Certified Respite Caregivers to give Foster Family’s a babysitting
60. Decorate a Christmas tree at an elderly person’s house
61. Hold a collection drive: makeup, lotions, etc for women at a shelter
62. Find a Food Bank near you to volunteer
63. Deliver popcicles to children at a homeless shelter
64. Offer your pet for therapy to the elderly
65. Decorate nursing home rooms of residents with homemade art
66. Have regular “family nights” with games, ice cream, time together
67. Visit the NICU with treats for the doctors and anxious parents
68. Write to unsponsored children
69. Read to patients at a local hospital
70. Plan a family missions trip
71. Bake cookies, host a bake sale and donate money to the poor or a cause
72. Volunteer at a local animal shelter
73. Plant a garden and share the produce
74. Hold a drive for lightly-used stuffed animals for police stations SAFE program
75. Write letters to servicemen
76. Give a micro loan and change a family in a third world country
77. Smile. At everyone.
78. Make care packages for children in the hospital
79. Instead of a birthday gifts, ask for donations for a charity or food for a food pantry
80. Shop fair trade
81. Offer to decorate hospital hallways during the holidays
82. Ask your city about volunteering to remove graffiti
83. Host a Lemon-AID stand and donate proceeds Blood Water
84. Make no-sew fleece blankets for Hospice
85. Collect pencils for African children
86. Send a care package to our military
87. Read the Bible together as a family every day
88. Collect shoes for Shoes for Kids (started by an 11 year old girl)
89. Let kids choose a charity to donate to for one of their Christmas gifts
90. Become a foster family
91. Pay for someone’s drink in Starbuck’s drive-thru. Make sure your kids enjoy the act of kindness.
92. Help your kids starts a neighborhood or school Bible Study with their peers
93. Volunteer to plant flowers for your school/church flowerbeds
94. Make a Care Bag for a child in need
95. Adopt a child
96. Welcome home a hero at the airport
97. Complain less
98. Start a Kindness Club with your family
99. Let your light shine!
100. Look for opportunities to be the difference in someone’s life
101. Host a virtual food drive
102. Start a KidzRap on your street!
103. Purchase gifts through families fundraising for adoption.
104. Make a quilt for NICU familes
105. Pay the toll for the car behind you
106. Invite friends to Vacation Bible School
107. Help keep families together
108. Take someone flowers from your garden
109. Participate in Operation Christmas Child
Kristen has also given permission to print off this list. I’m posting it on our refrigerator so we can start highlighting the ideas as we complete them and/or for us to reference when I hear the “b” word. Anyone else?!
I’d love to hear from you, dear friends! What are other ideas of how we can make a difference? How has your family served recently? Share with us please!
Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! Have a blessed 4th of July weekend! 🙂