[photopress:fleece_blankets_0311.jpg,thumb,pp_style] By Trina Boice
True Christ-like service is about becoming as much as it is about doing. There is much good we can do in the world and the Lord graciously invites us to join Him in blessing other people’s lives. In fact,
President Spencer W. Kimball once said “The Lord does hear and answer our prayers, but it is usually through another person that He meets our needs.”
While service is about helping others, it is also the most effective way there is to become like the Savior, and that’s the whole point of our earthly existence, right? Every program in the Church encourages us to serve, whether in Relief Society, Scouts, Primary, Youth activities, Priesthood, or even Family Home
Evening, because their shared goal is to bring us to Christ.
In addition to Church service opportunities, there are several web sites that match your interests with organizations and people who have service needs, such as:
Below are some fun service ideas you can do as a family, neighborhood, or even as a special project with your Church calling:
Hold a car wash but don’t charge anyone money for the service. Give patrons a Church Pass Along card and let them know you were there to serve the community.
Volunteer at the Salvation Army, Deseret Industries, or a local food bank.
For outdoor service projects sponsored by the Keep America Beautiful Foundation go to www.kab.org
Knit projects like clothes for stuffed bears that are given to children in crisis by Precious Pals or Project Linus. (www.projectlinus.org)
Collect food that can be distributed locally through a food bank such as Second Harvest. (www.secondharvest.org)
Find out how your ward can participate in National Youth Service Day or USA Weekend’s Make A
Wash windows on the cars parked at the temple and leave little notes that thank the patrons for their service. Be careful of car alarms and get permission first!
Make visual aids that could be given to the Primary teachers and Chorister, such as flannel board stories, music aids, object lessons, etc. Laminate the pictures so they will last a long time.
Hold an “Unsung Hero” service project. Find out who in the ward has “quiet” callings such as a librarian, Church Magazine Rep, choristers, pianists, bulletin board person, Sunday program printer, etc. Invite them to a special dinner where you honor their efforts and let them know they are appreciated.
Adopt a specific military Troop to pray for by signing up at www.presidentialprayerteam.net/manageadoptionslogin.php
Pack up all of your scrapbook and stamping supplies and visit the children’s trauma unit in your local hospital. Help the children to decorate cards to give to their families, friends or even the hospital staff.
Take any old cards you have received or made and cut the fronts off and send them to Sherrill Graff. She will add cardstock to them to make them a full card and add an envelope for each one. She and the
Young Women in her ward will deliver them to their local Ronald McDonald house. They use them to thank volunteers and to cheer up sick children. The children’s families can also send some out to others, thanking them for their support and help in their time of need.
Sherrill Graff, 605 Kendrick Place, Boulder City, NV 89005
Do something for the Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts to let them know you support the good works they are doing. See if you can help a Cub Scout with his goal to “do a good turn daily.”
Make cinnamon rolls and deliver them to an early morning Seminary class.
Get a list of all the older sisters in the ward and deliver secret gifts to them for a month. Bring them flowers, cards, goodies, and crafts.
Many retirement homes have big BINGO events you could help with. You could also sing for the residents, make and bring gifts for them, polish their fingernails, help them write letters to their families, and with permission, or bring your pets for the residents to hold and play with.
Stuff envelopes for a school, PTA, a charity, or some other non-profit organization.
Mail care packages for missionaries and military who are serving from your ward. Include uplifting letters.
Make thank you cards to give to military servicemen and women on Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day such as a patriotic craft, plaque, cookies, an award, etc.
Stencil dish towels that could be donated to the ward kitchen or bath towels that could be given as gifts at baptism. Tie them up with a ribbon and attach a note that says: “May this ABSORB your troubles, BLOT out problems, SOAK up sorrows, and WIPE Away difficulties!”
Read children’s stories into a tape recorder and package the books and tapes together as a set so they can be given to a hospital, Boys & Girls Club, library, preschool, school for the blind, or daycare center.
Talk to the Facilities and Public Works Department of your city to see what service projects you could do.
They can usually think of ideas that would readily work such as painting over graffiti or cleaning up parks.
Paint and wallpaper a shelter. Make curtains and other decorative items to make it feel like a home.
Write to your local Congressman about issues that affect your community. Write letters of appreciation.
Learn about famous Mormons at www.morgannews.us/fam.html and think of what good YOU could contribute to the world.
Learn sign language and check out the Church’s web site about American Sign Language at www.asl.lds.org See if there is a school for deaf children where you could practice your new skills and help out.
Have a progressive dinner, performing various acts of service in between courses.
Make a quilt that could be given to a shelter, high school seniors leaving for college, new babies in the ward, or someone in need.
Go to the Bishop’s Storehouse and can food for families in the ward who are unable to do the manual labor themselves.
Do something nice for the Bishopric and/or presidencies of each auxiliary in your ward to let them know their hard work is appreciated.
Help with ward activities by making decorations, centerpieces, posters, etc.
Create a “Taste the Sweetness of Service” jar by filling a specially decorated jar for the Bishop and putting a piece of candy in it for every act of service each Primary child gives.
Make meals for a widow or sister on bed rest that she could freeze and use later. The Bishop may help with funds for that.
Sign up ward members who are widows, elderly or home-bound to join the “Letter A Month Club.”
Prepare sweet cards and letters that could then be mailed every week to uplift and inspire them.
Put together “Finals Survival Kits” to send to college students from your ward. Include a bag of “brain candy” to help them get through those long study hours.
Learn about literacy and the Church’s emphasis on helping others to read. Offer to help students in a Boys & Girls Club, after-school facility or members of your own ward.
Plan a special luncheon for the Primary teachers and presidency to thank them for all they do for the children.
Crochet leper bandages, baby caps, infant layettes, as well as other products used by the Church’s Humanitarian Department. For more information contact Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Center, 1665 Bennett Road, SLC, UT 84104. Telephone: (80l) 240-6060 Hours 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Monday through
Call your local LDS Social Services office. They usually have all kinds of projects they need help with.
Make newborn hats that can be donated to hospitals. You can even buy one of those round looms which make the project go very quickly and easily!
Learn about “Locks of Love” if you have girls with very long hair who are considering cutting it.
Take cookies to widows on Valentine’s Day or other holidays.
Create a Family Service Coupon book to be used at home.
Have a “Random Acts of Kindness” contest and see which auxiliary in the Church can complete the most in a month.
Decorate lunch bags for missionaries and fill them with yummy food and snacks for them to enjoy at a Zone conference.
Help an older person write his/her autobiography. Record a video of them being interviewed, organize their photos, etc.
Make hospital gift tray items such as nice poems rolled up with a ribbon and piece of candy.
Make gift baskets to give to military wives for Mother’s Day, Easter and/or Christmas.
Find out how you can help with Special Olympics.
Build toy boxes or shelves for your building’s nursery and/or Primary room.
Visit Trina at www.boicebox.com.