Friday, September 9, 2011

What Kind of Community Service Can Kids Do?

This is one of those things where I think God is telling me something, because the same issue keeps coming up, over and over. And over.

1. First I get sent this link about student's suggestions to improve school. Gosh, I think, I can incorporate most of those into my homeschooling. But the seventh one on that list, "off-campus community service once a week", that one sounds impossible for us. I mean, really, what kind of help can I be with all the little kids in tow?

2. Then as I was looking into homeschool curricula, and poring over reviews, I came across several mentions of doing regular (weekly) community service, and somehow I notice it every time, even though I'd prefer not to.

3. Finally, Ken sees this Primetime Nightline special on the Bates family with their 18 kids (Ken was extremely impressed), and he emails me a link about them, and when it gets to the part about all of the kids doing weekly community service - it looked like they were playing a concert at an old folk's home - my reaction was some combo of "!!" and "Well, I guess God's really trying to tell me something here."

So the question is... what kind of community service thing can I do with my kids, age 8 to 11 months? And is this really realistic, or would I be overextending myself?


  1. You can have Gabe scream the star spangled banner to the deaf elderly hard of hearing. I am sure they would appreciate being able to actually hear it.

  2. hmmm that doesn't look right. Should read deaf, elderly and hard of hearing. The deaf and hard of hearing can enjoy the music. The elderly can look at the really cute kid and wonder why he is screaming at them.

  3. i used to work in nursing homes and you can call an event coordinator/director of one near you and ask what they might think is appropriate. the older 2 can read to those who can not or play checkers or just sit and listen to stories.

    you can make a day a week trash pick up day some where you know that there's a lot of litter or constant litter. give them all plastic bags and rubber gloves. of course no picking up needles, glass or razors. : ) you know what i mean.

    ask the local library about reading to younger kids programs or call the local food bank and see how/what the requirements are for volunteering. your never too young to take an entrance.

    ask around at church and see if there might be an elderly person that needs a house helper. dusting, sweeping floors or the like. i know that kids hate to clean their own homes : ) but sometimes will work crazy hard with others.

  4. Do you have a homeless shelter in your city? We have one called Samaritan House that accepts sack lunches. We get a production line going and turn out 25 or so with decorated bags for them to distribute to the homeless who come through. Sorting through their toys for things to donate and going with you to the Goodwill, offering to rake a neighbor's leaves in the fall, baking cookies for your Parish Priests...that's all good stuff that can be done at or near home.

    I hear your concern about overextending yourself. Definitely pray over each decision to make sure you're not taking on more than God wants you to.