I often stop and think of how much I have and feel grateful. I have way more than I need and I am well aware of that. Being thankful for all that we have should cause us to want to help others by giving of our abundance. I am trying hard to teach my children this concept as well as live it myself. I want my kids to be selfless and aware of their blessings as well as the needs in others. I try hard to serve others and give to others as often as possible. I love giving my time and talents to others who may be in need. I hope my example of wanting to serve shows through to my children. Teaching children to serve is such an important thing. If children learn while they are young the value of giving of themselves, not for praise but just because, their lives will be so much better. They will understand that others have need besides themselves. They will learn to see those needs and step in when needed. They will know how to help others without first being asked.
This year I started something new with my kids. We joined up with Meals on Wheels and have been delivering meals once a week to elderly home-bound people in our community. It has been such a wonderful experience for me and for my kids. I have loved each and every minute of it. My kids have been incredible with it as well. Meals on Wheels is all volunteer. They way it works, is you pick up a cooler full of meals and you are given a delivery route that is usually the same (with a few occasional changes) each week. You take the meals to the door and then you visit with the people as little or as much as is needed or wanted. On our delivery route, we have three people who are over 100 years of age. These people are beautiful and kind and wonderful to visit. They are so grateful to see us each day. They want us to stay and talk. They love seeing my children and are so loving to them. They hug them and give them treats. They let them play with their toys and their dogs. They express such loving things to me and my children. We are helping them out of the desire of our hearts to serve and they know that.
On the flip side of that, they are helping us so much, and I don’t think they know that. When we go on our weekly deliveries, my children take turns visiting the different people. I have four kids, but I only take one in with me at most of the houses. There are a few that tell me to bring them all in to visit, so we do. My kids beg to go in to each place. They love these people and talk about them all week long. They are happy to help and jump out of the car with excitement at each stop. We talk in the car about how this helps these people and why we are doing it. They tell me things like: “I feel so happy and good when we do this, Mom!” They feel it in their hearts just as I feel it in mine. We are loving this service. It has changed our lives.
There are many ways to give service in this world. There are many wonderful organizations and causes that do great good. However, it does not always have to be a big grand gesture. Sometimes service is simply a smile and hello to someone who passes you by. A few other things we have done in the past are donate toys to children in the Philippines, and Operation Christmas Child boxes. We also did our Service Tree as Christmas time.
Teaching Children to Serve their Family:
Helping a sibling with chores or other duties
Reading to a younger sibling
Helping parents without being asked (or with a happy attitude)
Doing kind deeds for family members
Teaching Children to Serve Others:
Watch someone’s children for free
Helping others move
Bring a meal to sick or needy
Visit lonely or bedridden
Walk a dog
Weed a garden
Shovel a walkway in the winter
Pay for someone else’s meal
Take out your neighbor’s trash (or bring it it)
Help at food banks or homeless shelters
Donate gently used items to needy
Give money or food to homeless
Learning service is one of the best ways to become more Christlike, for Christ served all.
James 1: 27 says: Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Matthew 25:40 says: Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
This video is a wonderful story and an example of a kind heart. This is the kind of heart I want my own children to have.
I love the words of this Hymn:
Have I Done Any Good
Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone’s burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.
2. There are chances for work all around just now,
Opportunities right in our way.
Do not let them pass by, saying, “Sometime I’ll try,”
But go and do something today.
‘Tis noble of man to work and to give;
Love’s labor has merit alone.
Only he who does something helps others to live.
To God each good work will be known.
Text and music: Will L. Thompson, 1847-1909, alt.
Alex Boye & Carmen Rasumsen sing it well!
Want more service ideas? Check out the website Pennies of Time. She is incredible and has so many wonderful service ideas for kids.