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ACTS of Kindness and a FREE Imagination Station eBook

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ACTS - A Call to Serve

This summer {well, ok – often}, we’ve really been stressing the importance of service with our kids. It’s something we long to instill in each of their hearts and we try to talk about it a lot. This week our children started VBS at a local church and at the end of the first day, the parents were invited to sit down and hear the kids sing a song they had been working on.

The title of the song? Go Serve Our World.

The kids have apparently been listening to us {oh, hooray!!}, because as soon as they ran to meet me, they were telling me all about how the theme was service – and “WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THAT AT HOME! ISN’T THAT FUNNY?” {And yes, they were yelling. And it was very loud. They may have been very excited…or truthfully, just always loud}.

Our ideas for service and helping out in our community have required a little bit of imagination and creativity in some ways, but we have come up with a list that we are working on: helping older people {including grandparents} with yard work and weeding, assisting during VBS {older girls}, babysitting for moms, helping an older couple with their horse farm and mucking stalls. We’re also going to bake cookies for others, make a few meals for someone who is sick, and…well, the kids are still working on our list!

Some of the ideas may not be as fun as others, but sometimes serving others means we have to get a little messy, right? The point is our heart attitude and being willing to serve.

ACTS: A Call to Serve from Adventures in Odyssey


This summer, Adventures in Odyssey is prompting children {and families} to serve others around them, both near and far. Children can win some GREAT prizes, including a missions trip to Costa Rica!! You can find out more details at www.whitsend.org/acts.  Families can also download

Will you join in? Grab a copy of the Weekly Service ideas, print it off, and get the ideas flowing as a family.

A FREE eBook and an Imagination Station Books 1-3 Giveaway!

AIO Giveaway

Our family really enjoys listening to Adventures in Odyssey {lately, it’s been something the girls have enjoyed listening to before bedtime}. Our summer reading also includes their newer Imagination Station books, a wonderful chapter-book early reader series. If you’ve been curious about the books, be sure to check out and download a FREE e-book of Imagination Station #1: Voyage with the Vikings!

AND – Adventures in Odyssey is giving one of my readers a set of the first three Imagination Station booksVoyage of the Vikings, Attack at the Arena, and Peril in the Palace. To enter, just follow the directions on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Giveaway is open to US residents only or those with a US mailing address. Giveaway ends Friday, June 21, 2013 at 11:59pm.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. Brooke Johnson says

    we (my husband and i and our 4 kids) are full time missionaries in the Philippines… living a life of service!

  2. momof4cherubs says

    Hi Jolanthe. Your site has been such a God send to me. My family (my husband, me, and our 4 children) goes to a local nursing home and also to retirement center. We sing songs to the residents, usually make a craft or something with them, read with them, and then just fellowship with them. During various holiday, the children make little things (cards, gifts, trinkets) to take to them.

  3. Jenna DeMaria says

    We just did a service project through our church, as a family. We went to a local camp for underprivileged kids and helped clean up to open for the summer. My little ones helped to pick up brush that was scattered around the camp grounds, with my husband and my oldest daughter and I cleaned the bathrooms and showers. I am so grateful to our church for this opportunity to show my kids how to serve others. My only ideas is to ask your church or local food pantry or even the council on aging if they have any needs that you can fill as a family.

  4. MomsBandB says

    We went to Mexico with another two families and built a house for a needy family. It was SO fun!

  5. Darcy Shetler says

    We try to teach our children to reach out and help someone they see that needs assistance. We also help out in our church. Looking forward to printing off the list and challenging the kiddos this summer over vacation :) —-Darcy Shetler

  6. My kiddos are still pretty little almost 2 and 4 they get to tag along while mom drops off dinners or gives someone a ride to run their errands and such things.

  7. AdventuresinHomeEducating says

    One of my kids’ favorite way to serve is to participate in our annual clean the city day. They love being part of keeping our community clean!

  8. We are currently working on filling a box for our HeroBox soldier!

  9. R. Barnes says

    We have focused our service on helping the elderly, mostly family, but anyone we hear of that is in need of some help around their house. My boys have stacked and carried wood for their great-grandfather, we’ve done yard work for a few others and have helped with some minor repairs on their houses.

  10. Jess Anderson says

    As a family we have gone to different homes and prayed for people. We have helped different indivudals with whatever need they have had like mow their lawn, bringing soup when they have felt sick, driving them to their eye appointment, etc.

  11. I wouldn’t call any of the “services” that we do as “projects” per say…BUT I do encourage my children to help the elderly that they see in our day-to-day outings in loading groceries and what-not. We also have an elderly lady on our street that we visit with and do projects for her that she cannot do for herself. We also take “Thank You” cards to the service people (police, firefighters, EMT, etc) each year to thank them for what they do. We have also donated food to a local food pantry. “Easy things” but things that will let them know to “help” in any way that we can in this world.

  12. Zekesmom10 says

    We’ve helped at the food pantry, but I’m looking for more ideas with littles.

  13. Cheryl Baranski says

    My boys do service projects through scouts and church.

    Three years ago they served with me and several others in the community

    after a tornado came through. We worked 12 hour days at the time. That was when the were 10 and 6. They worked so hard. People were amazed at the work the did.

  14. Dee Shera says

    My family serves by helping others in whatever is needed, sending cards to mark special events and just because, ringing the bell for the Salvation Army at Christmastime, Wreaths Across America, visiting nursing homes, and visiting people in the hospital.

  15. Joyce yang says

    We enjoy bringing meals to friends that need it, and bringing laughter to the elderly.

  16. Our kids serve at church, but I love this idea of taking it a step further. We have also shared gently used stuff animals at our fire station.

  17. My family and I currently live and serve overseas in the field of development work–helping others to have a better life and sharing about Jesus.

  18. katie dugdale says

    each year, we participate as a family in a cupcake sale to raise money for the ministry sixty feet that serves in Uganda… you can read about it here: http://wellnurturedplantsandpillars.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/cupcake-kids-2013/

  19. We do things all the time. I think we often don’t think of it as service, just helping out. We make and share meals with friends in need, sponsor a compassion child, watch other’s children as needed, donate items, and so much more.

    • Karla – helping IS serving. :) We do the same throughout the year {our kids love writing to our Compassion kids}, but we’ve really been trying to stress the WHY behind the service and continue to broaden what we do – especially when it involves a sacrifice of time, etc… to do so. The biggest thing for us more recently has just been making sure we really are involving the kids and that they really understand – and their hearts are in the right place too. :)

  20. Claudea Muntean says

    One of the acts of service we did as a family was to make parachutes for Voice of the Martyrs. They use the parachutes to drop off christian literature in areas hard to reach.

  21. Charis Chapman says

    Our family is in charge of our church’s food pantry and we host a once a month food giveaway to about 120-130 families in the neighborhood around our church. Great way to serve altogether as a family!

  22. a cupcake sale is a great fundraiser idea, Katie. :)

  23. We have made treats and a craft for people living in a nursing home. The kids sang some songs for them.

  24. Serve at our local feed the hungry ministry!

  25. One of our favorite things to do is Operation Christmas Child. My kids loved going shopping for the boxes (one for a boy and one for a girl) and picking out things they thought the kids would like. My kids have also started helping the ushers clean up after church (my oldest are 6 year-old twins) – rolling up rugs, moving boxes and chairs, etc.); they love the “manly” feeling it gives them – working with the older guys at church!

  26. linda rose says

    We planted flowers at the nursing home with Nana and helped clean the church.

  27. We have done Operation Christmas Child the last few years and have purchased goats and chickens through Samaritan’s Purse. I would love for my family to do more though. My 2 oldest (4 & 7 )are old enough to understand and do more at this point. I am looking forward to going over your list with my family!

  28. We are not yet serving outside the home… However, our three year is definitely serving at home! Daddy is very sick. Whenever she sees him very sad, see tells him jokes until he smiles. It is kind and very sweet to watch. I know this talent of recognizing others’ needs will serve her well in the future!

  29. We go out into our neighborhood to meet the needs of those around our church. We do this as a family. Our kids get an opportunity to witness hands on ministry. It is really wonderful.

  30. Alia Kinsler says

    We do community service projects with our church!

  31. Visiting older women from our church and their friends.

  32. Kelli R. Cutting says

    We host many families at home and abroad in our house. We serve together as a family to bless and encourage others. :)

  33. judith martinez says

    We sometimes work at our church’s food pantry ministry together.

  34. JustKiddingAroundAtl says

    We shop for food for the church food pantry together, have done the Operation Christmas Child boxes, and try to shop for a child from the Angel Tree each Christmas. We also thank local heroes by taking homebaked goodies to our police station & fire dept during the year. :)

  35. We have not served as a family but I look forward to hearing everyone’s ideas!

  36. JacknMisty Lindsey says

    We have lived overseas in full time ministry for almost 12 years. We are now serving in Puerto Rico with our 4 children. We try to love on those around us. …we always have bags of food items in our car to give to the homeless & those on the streets. We try to make meals & help watch other kids for friends. We try to go through our things often & give away toys & clothes to those in need.

  37. kissnangel85 says

    my husband and i ran the childrens ministry for over a yr n half before we moved…. we hav also gone on a missions trip to jamaica!!

  38. we have delivered food to shut-ins.

  39. We worked on serving families who couldn’t afford meals and gifts on Thanksgiving and Christmas by cooking for them, making things and cleaning for them.

  40. Jennifer Sherman says

    My family is helping a family with disabled children and another mom who is single and is raising her daughter on her own.

  41. Delia Jones says

    It was at my oldest daughter’s prompting several years ago that we started OCC boxes. This year she is up to 50 boxes! It is a big family project.
    We also have several elderly neighbors that need a helping hand or just a visit.

  42. We watch the children of a mom with cancer when she needs it. It helps the kids be able to play with mine and it gives the mom a chance to rest. It’s a win-win.

  43. Robin Gold says

    We have small kids and we love helping out our neighbors. We take out their trash cans, pick up mail, run errands, and just spend time with them.

  44. My family and I have helped fill 5000 food bags for those in need.

  45. We enjoy putting Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes together. We are currently trying to gather gently used toys to fill our church nursery, and my oldest daughter just asked if we could start serving at a local Christian food bank. We are trying to train our kids to look for opportunities in everyday situations to serve others (helping their grandma clean, offering to carry loads for others, etc.).

  46. Our family worked with several other families, to help put together some weekend snack bags, that a local charity gives to children that don’t normally have regular meals on the weekends, during the school year.

  47. Julie Bean says

    We used our vacation for several years to help our local camp get ready for the camping season

  48. We were full time appointed missionaries to WVU and Morgantown WV. We have served students in many capacities over the years. One thing the children really enjoyed helping with was baking cookies to give away to students who are far from home. This opened a door to share the gospel because we took of what God had given us and took our time to bake fresh cookies.

  49. We helped our church deliver Thanksgiving food baskets to needy families.

  50. Our family volunteered to a local homeless shelter over the holidays to help decorate cookies with the kids, set up carnival games, and donated food/clothes/toys.

  51. Just this week, my two youngest chose to spend two hours of their birthday at Feed My Starving Children. We also provide music to the elderly a few times each year.

  52. Kelly Schmidt says

    We do project through church as well as things with the homeless shelter around Thanksgiving and year round with a local pregnancy crisis center

  53. Our family serves at a local food bank. Yes they are young but not too young to help serve someone by taking their groceries to their car. Any one can help, even the smallest of hands.

  54. Nicole H says

    Thanks for the giveaway! We try to serve people whenever we can. We usually do it in simple ways, like sharing a meal, or giving away clothes and toys to a family who doesn’t have much.

  55. We serve our school and community by donating time and canned food items. This summer we’ll be fundraising for a playground for my daughter’s school.

  56. Jennifer says

    Right now our service is limited but living overseas we still find opportunities to serve our local military community in various projects both as individuals and with my oldest being in cub scouts. We also are teaching the kids about supporting our missionaries over here through donations of money as well as time.

  57. We have been donating new and used items to our local pregnancy center.

  58. Jennifer Mitolo says

    Our family sets up the dining room for a local charity who serves dinner to the homeless once a week in our community. Even though my kids are young, it is something we can all do to help!

  59. our kids and I always make sure to look around and do something nice each day for someone we do not know

  60. We like to fix meals and take to people.

  61. We (my 3 year old, 1 year old and me) like to visit an elederly homebound neighbor and bring her some cookies. I let the kids kiss and hug her and then play in front of her, she enjoys those little laughs.

  62. My daughters and I have helped with community clean ups :)

  63. LiveCreateBelieve says

    My daughter and I volunteered together with an animal rescue group for a long time. It was wonderful for both of us to serve together. From time to time we go on “trash walks” where we walk around an area and pick up any trash we see. My daughter is so sweet, she will even ask to go on one! I love her heart for serving. :-) Thanks for having this giveaway!

  64. Last year we tried to do one service project each month. One of out favorites was working at a Christian camp for a week doing projects for them and their neighbors.

  65. We pick up donated food for shelters.

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