Happy Friday, everyone!
Your girls may have (let’s face it, they definitely have) started a countdown clock for the end of the school year, because summer break just a few weeks away! It’s almost time to break out the swimsuits, shorts, and flip flops and relax for a little while. And while it’s important to recharge from all the stresses of the school year, it is even more important that we do not waste our summer vacations all on ourselves. There is a great need in our local communities, and we want to give you some ideas for how you and your girls can serve over the next few months together! Here are ten of our favorites:
1. Have a closet clean-out party. Have your girls spend a morning or afternoon cleaning out their closets. Then, take all those old clothes, shoes, and other belongings to a local donation shelter, such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army. You can even take it a step further by having a small group yard sale and donating the proceeds to a local ministry!
2. Support a local food bank. As girls earn money at their summer job, encourage them to take out $5-10 of their paycheck and go grocery shopping together for necessities, such as canned goods and toiletries. Donate them to a local shelter, or you can find a list of Feeding America food banks here: http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/.
3. Participate in a park or stream clean-up. Call up your local Parks and Recreation department and ask about upcoming clean-up events — or, if none are available, offer to plan one as a group!
4. Volunteer for a local 5k race. Nonprofits host races all the time (especially in the summer), and they always need help with registration, handing out water bottles, and cleanup for these events. Plus, you can cheer on the runners from the sidelines!
5. Offer to help with chores around a nearby church. Not every church has the means to pay a consistent janitor, and even if they do, there is always more work to be done. Ask around yours or other local churches and offer to clean bathrooms, pick up trash, paint a wall, etc.!
6. Visit a retirement home. In many cases, elderly people living in nursing or retirement homes lack immediate family. Spend the day playing games and just talking with the residents!
7. Host a free night of babysitting for young families. With permission from your church or another public facility, offer to provide what is often the most expensive service for parents in need of a night out! Play games, watch a movie, and pool some money together for pizza. It’ll be a night for everyone to remember.
8. Write letters or send care packages to missionaries. There are lots of churches and nonprofit organizations that send missionaries all over the world, and they are in need of encouragement! Find a few families you can support and send them a care package filled with Scripture cards and wish list items.
9. Make no-sew tie blankets. Go shopping at your local fabric store and buy in bulk! Have a sleepover/blanket-making party and donate the blankets to a homeless shelter.
10. Start a meal train for someone in need. Whether it’s new parents, a church member recovering from surgery, or the family of a lost loved one, making dinner is a great way to serve and connect with others. There are all sorts of websites that help manage the meals, and you and your girls can take turns on the rotation!
The warm weather of summer makes serving more enjoyable than any other time of year. Let’s get to work!