Teaching Children to Serve

(This post may contain affiliate links. See my Disclosure Policy for details.)

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.

 

Teaching Children to Serve

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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

 

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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 afflictionand 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?

[Chorus]
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.

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Boxcar Children DVD Giveaway!

(This post may contain affiliate links. See my Disclosure Policy for details.)

I am sure most of you have read the Boxcar Children books with your kids (or at least some of them). My kids have enjoyed reading many of the books. There is a new animated movie based on The Boxcar Children that comes out today! We got a copy a little early and have been watching it over and over at our house.

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Boxcar Children DVD

If you haven’t read any if the books, let me tell you a little about the story.  Four orphaned and homeless siblings happen upon an abandoned boxcar. The decide to live in it and make it their home.  They find a nearby dump and use their creativity to furnish it and make it comfortable.  The oldest brother goes into town to find work and meets a kind doctor who helps them in many ways. They are afraid of being caught and sent to a mean grandfather who they have never met so the other three stay hidden in the woods where their boxcar is. One day one of the children gets very sick and it forces them to reveal themselves in order to save the young girl. It turns out alright in the end, though! The story is very sweet and the kids just love it. Mine have watched it a few times. The youngest little boy in the movie reminds us of our own little one!

About the Cast

Featuring an all-star cast of voice actors, including Academy Award Nominee Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now), J.K. Simmons (Spiderman), Zach Gordon (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Joey King (Fargo), Mackenzie Foy (Twilight series), and Jadon Sand (LEGO: The Movie), this is the very first full-length, animated feature adaptation of Gertrude Chandler Warner’s best-selling classic!

 

Here is the movie trailer:

 

Enter to win a copy below!

 

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