Here at Fort Worth Moms Blog, we believe that community makes the world go round! There is no better way to build community than being the community. Serving with our children not only creates value and builds a bonding experience within families, but it also creates a bond between the child and the community. With the goal to help you find ways to volunteer, we have created this list of 25 ways to serve with your family! From feeding the homeless, to cleaning up parks, to volunteering in the special needs community, we have your service needs covered!
1. Become a birthday enthusiast with The Birthday Party Project. With a mission to bring joy to homeless children through the magic of birthdays, this non-profit organization provides the opportunity for families (4+) to be Birthday Enthusiasts who decorate, light the candles, sing “Happy Birthday”, hand out cupcakes, and give lots of high fives!
2. Assemble icebreaker bags for Make-A-Wish North Texas. Join forces with Make-A-Wish North Texas to create “icebreaker” gift bags for future wish kids and their siblings. With your child, up hit the dollar section at Target and load up on fun items for children of all ages, making fun bags for both boys and girls, up to age 18. Make-A-Wish brings hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Drop off at Irving or Fort Worth offices.
3. Form a “shop squad” to help senior citizens with weekly groceries. Go through your church or a local senior center to identify a senior who is in need of weekly help with his or her groceries and medications. Make sure to have your youngest ones make cards to sneak into the groceries!
4. Start a donation drive for blankets and warm clothing items for Philip’s Wish. Started by a young boy exposed to homelessness after seeing his father on the street, Philip’s Wish is a Keller organization that collects blankets, coats, and warm clothing items for the homeless.
5. Serve meals to residents and guests at Union Mission Gospel. Help Union Mission Gospel transform the lives of homeless children and adults through a variety of opportunities from kitchen assistance (12+), tutoring (18+), and many other opportunities such as making placemats, preparing sack lunches, and writing encouraging notes.
6. Create “Blessing Bags” to give to the needy. With the youngest of kids, making and handing out community blessing bags can be a great way to show your children service at any moment of any day. Fill these bags with travel sizes toiletries, deodorant, toothpaste, hand warmers, trail mix, and a small gift card to a restaurant and hand them out to those in need. Be sure to include some notes with encouraging words so they know they are loved!
7. Be a cheer team for families at The Gatehouse Grapevine. Bring a smile, warm cookies, small gifts, and/or plants to families at The Gatehouse, a women’s shelter that provides safe refuge, practical resources and healing relationships to women in crisis.
8. Plan a family “work day” for your neighbors. Have your children think about some neighbors who they think could use some help. Write down a list and leave a flyer in their mail box asking how they can be of service to them on the set day. Whether it is providing a warm meal, taking in the trash, raking their leaves, make this entire day about serving others.
9. Volunteer at Green Oaks School summer camp. Green Oaks School offers many ways in addition to their summer camps for preteen’s who have compassion for children with Down’s Syndrome and other intellectual disabilities to serve.
10. Meals for new moms. Through your church, friends, or staff at your children’s school, sign up to make meals with your children for new moms. Have your children assemble the meals, make cards, and pick out small gifts for the siblings, too!
11. Help elementary students with their homework through the Community Enrichment Center. This is an excellent way to serve with older kids, 16+. The Community Enrichment Center is in need of tutors for the after school from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. at their North Richland Hills location.
12. Set up a Lemonade stand to fundraise for local charities. Take your children shopping with their earnings to purchase coloring books, crayons, and stuffed animals for Cook’s Children’s Hospital or to buy toys for the Wishing Well for Make-A-Wish North Texas.
13. Adopt a “Grandfriend” at a nursing home to write letters to and spend time with.
14. Team up with Grace Grapevine and join their “Feed Our Kids” summer program. Gather a group of friends together and provide a meal to take to one of the local low-income apartment complexes. Bring the kids along for them to serve their new friends, play outdoor sports with them, and share encouraging words.
15. Get your hands dirty helping construct and build homes with Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity helps build and improve homes and neighborhoods across the country. The Fort Worth chapter is in need of helping hands on construction sites (16+) and painting homes (12+).
16. Clean up the community with your littlest helpers. Pick a day to go around to different parks and public areas and help pickup litter, stop by a grocery store and round up all the grocery carts, collect leaves in big black trash bags, and leave a little love wherever you go.
17. Partner up as a buddy for The Miracle League of Southlake. The Miracle League provides opportunities for children with disabilities to play Miracle League baseball, despite their disabilities. Buddies can be parents, schoolmates, students, or anyone willing to donate their time to assist these athletes in being able to play baseball. Both of you can get your own buddy or the parents can serve the family while your child serves as the buddy.
18. Collect in-kind donations for charity gala events. Some of North Texas’s biggest galas such as Grace Gala, Wish Night and the Fort Worth Margarita Ball are always looking for silent-auction donations. This is a great way to get out and about with some of your older children, looking to support your favorite charities mission. Whether it’s your school’s fundraising efforts or non-profit, silent auction items can go along way in the charity world.
19. Ignite the passion of philanthropy in your children through Peter Pan and Forever Young Birthday Clubs, both sponsoring Cook Children’s. Encouraging your child or teenager to promote giving instead of receiving at his or her birthday party not only teaches them an important lesson, but it also encourages other children to develop a heart of giving as well.
20. “Fill someone’s bucket” in your home, community, and school. This simple way of loving others is the easiest way to applicably teach our children that serving others is a heart condition. “Have You Filled a Bucket Today” is a wonderful book to teach our children the significance of serving others.
21. Make monthly visits to the nursing home. Bring a variety of games like Scrabble and Monopoly, Battleship, and card games, alongside movies like The Wizard of Oz or Moana to enjoy together. Older kids to offer help put together a family tree or teach a group how to bowl using a Wii gaming system.
22. Get your hands dirty by tending to the Tarrant Area Food Bank’s community garden. Weekly, volunteers are invited to help plant and harvest fruits and vegetables, pull weeds, and learn new gardening skills, all to benefit the TAFB.
23. Host a drive for local animal shelters. Call your local animal shelter to find out what they need. Organize a drive to collect supplies and with your children, take them to the shelter.
24. Deliver meals to homebound seniors through Meals on Wheels. Adopt a weekly route and bring hot meals, smiles, and joy to every door!
25. Simply bake cookies and deliver them to the fire and police stations, hand them out those who delivery items to your home, and your favorite people who serve you during the week.