Looking for an at-home service project to do as a family this summer? Start with our quick guide.
This summer is like no other. Many of us are staying very close to home as the pandemic continues to impact our lives. Many of us are also paying more attention to our actions, the example that we are setting for our children, and what we are teaching them about social justice. Volunteering, reaching out to help those in need, and increasing our involvement in our local and global communities is taking on more importance and mental priority than ever before.
Living in this time of digital connection means that we can connect with and support causes, people, and communities right from our home. Service projects are a valuable opportunity to teach our children lessons and skills that will benefit them for years to come. Our team has put together ten at-home service projects for you to choose from. We look forward to hearing from you about what good your family does together this summer!
Write letters to government officials about a cause you care about
There are plenty of causes that need more attention right now. Writing letters to those directly involved with legislation is a great way to teach children about democracy and the power of their voice. Make it a weekly or monthly activity over the summer and you will create rich discussions and do your own part in seeing that your officials know what matters.
Here are some resources to help you get started:
Care packages for those who live alone
COVID-19 and social distancing have been hard for everyone in different ways. As parents, the struggles of having everyone at home have been endless! And there have also been blessings being together. Many people who live alone have gone through the last several months living in isolation, which presents different struggles. Do you know anyone who lives alone? They may really enjoy getting a surprise package in the mail with some handmade cards, treats, crafts, or your own family trademark. If you know multiple people doing the pandemic solo, make it a summer-long project!
We’ve just discovered StoriiTime and are excited to learn more! StoriiTime is an organization that connects older individuals with children and families to enjoy reading, sharing, and some much-needed face time. All get-togethers are conducted over Zoom and help to make sure that friendships are made in the age of social distancing. This sounds like an at-home service project that the family will remember forever.
Create handmade birthday cards for the next six months
Make recognizing loved ones a family priority by creating cards in advance. What family members or close friends have a birthday in the next six months? Put all of their names on a whiteboard and take time each week to get cards ready. The children will get to pour love into someone you care about, you will take care of a big to-do list item, and the recipient will feel tons of love when they get the card.
Make placemats for your local Meals on Wheels program
Order a laminator from Amazon and let your creativity guide you! Meals on Wheels has many needs other than delivering food, and placemats add a special touch. (Psst – they also need birthday cards!)
This is an at-home service project that can be done year-round. Here are two resources to help you get started:
Sew pillowcases for a local hospital or shelter
Sewing pillowcases is a popular at-home service project because it is something that a lot of community organizations benefit from. From children’s wards to foster children transitioning, to shelters, clean pillowcases are a constant requirement, and when they are homemade they add a special bit of light for someone who is not having the best day.
Let your children pick out the fabric and then involve them in the process, including packaging the new pillowcases up for delivery. You may even make one for their own beds to help them remember the summer of 2020.
A few resources to help get you started:
First, contact your local hospitals or DV shelters to ask if they have any linen needs.
Prep shoes for Sole Hope
Sole Hope is an organization that donates shoes to Ugandan children to protect them from a crippling parasite called jitters. Through donations of money and cut-out pieces of denim, shoes are provided to thousands of children so that they can walk in their villages safely. When your family orders a Sole Hopes Kit, you will be provided instructions, information, and a pattern to prep shoes and become a part of this simple and effective project. Beginning with clearing out old jeans to be made into shoes, your children will love getting involved.
Paint kindness rocks
This is another at-home service project with a long life. Start with asking the children to collect large, smooth rocks on your family outings and end with placing beautiful rocks with positive messages in your neighborhood. Or, leave them in the front yard of someone on your block and add a happy surprise to their morning.
A few resources to help you get started:
Prepare Sweet Cases for Together We Rise
Together We Rise is a nonprofit that helps to motivate and support children in the foster system. They mobilize people around the country to donate “sweet packages”, school supplies, and bicycles to these children. One of their ongoing needs is the donation and decoration of “sweet bags” to give to children to keep their belongings when they move between homes.
In addition to Together We Rise, local foster case advocacy groups have specific needs and can use your family’s help.
Two resources to help you get started:
Prep sack lunches for your local homeless shelter or street program
If you live in a city, it is very likely that a local homeless advocacy organization needs your help in prepping sack lunches. This can be done once a week or once a month as a family and curbside pick-up is available.
A few resources to help you get started: