ideas for serving with your family

Serving with Younger Kids

Their mission is to help homeless families. In their day center parents can volunteer and bring children as young as 3 years old. For their Partners in Housing program children must be at least 14. 
This is a warehouse with food supplied to local pantries and low income people. The minimum age to volunteer is 7 years old accompanied by a parent or guardian. 
Ministering to low income people in the Blackhills neighborhood of GR. Minimum age to serve is 8 with parent or guardian. They have opportunities on both weekday evenings and Saturday mornings. 
Linking new and gently-used clothing, household necessities, and furniture for free, with those in need, in a welcoming store environment. Minimum age for children is 8 accompanied by a parent or guardian. 
Makes sack suppers for children at risk in GR. Sign up through their online volunteer hub: They post volunteer openings 2 months in advance. Children age 5 and up can serve when accompanied by a parent or guardian. 16 and up can serve on their own. 

Serving with Older Kids

Along with the opportunities listed above for serving with younger children, below are opportunities for serving alongside your older children:
They offer help to homeless and disadvantaged people in GR through meals offered, life enrichment services, and accommodations for homeless women. To work in the kitchen at Degage children need to be 16. Younger children can serve alongside adults at the special serving station in the dining room, but this is not recommended for very young children. 
Their goal is to provide affordable housing for low income people. They have a garden where kids 10 and up can help with their parents. The garden is used to grow plants to be transplanted at new homes, plus it is used to teach new homeowners about gardening. Older children can help work at the homes (16 and up for landscaping and 18 and up for working in the houses). 

Outside of the Box ideas
for serving as a family

  • “Adopt” an elderly neighbor. Visit them, help with lawn care or other things around the house, drop off food, take them out, send them cards, invite them over for a meal, make sure they have family to be with for the holidays, etc.
  • Visit your local bulk grocery store, like Sam’s Club or Costco, and stock up on several nonperishable food items. Have the kids pack bags with the items you purchased and deliver them to individuals in need. Keep a few bags in the car so you are prepared when you see a homeless person or someone in need.
  • Degage also has $2.00 vouchers that can be purchased on their website. Keep vouchers with you and have kids give them to panhandlers who can then use the vouchers to purchase food or a haircut or other services at Degage. Be sure you kids understand what they are for and why they are needed.
  • Sponsor a family. There are many organizations that give you the opportunity to sponsor a family or a child. Find organizations where you can be a sponsor, like Family Promise. These are often advertised around the holidays.
  • Gather up gently used no longer needed clothes and toys and donate them to places like In the Image, Family Promise or Mel Trotter.
  • Volunteer your time at a local school, church or retirement community. Call and see what kind of help they could use. It could be cleaning inside, working on their grounds, organizing the toys in the nursery or… the possibilities are endless.
  • Put together a care package for a shut in, or a missionary, or someone in the military and give or send it to them.
  • Clean the house of someone who is sick or pregnant. There may be people you know, or that church can connect you up with, who may be having health challenges. Helping during these times with housework or outdoor work can be a great benefit to them.
  • Clean up trash at a local park. Have your kids get gloves and garbage bags and then help by cleaning up trash and debris at local parks.
  • Random act of kindness. Find a stranger or a family you know and do something kind for them. Send a card. Help a senior carry their groceries to their car. Drop off some cookies.