My favorite co-server in life is my son, J (his real name is Jacob, but I call him J because he doesn’t like “Jake.” Yes, I am so lazy that I reduced his name to one letter). He’s fifteen years old, and is smart, funny, and a good worker. Though much of his service experience has come during his years as a Boy Scout, he really got his start in our local MOMS Club chapter when he was just a preschooler. We started ‘em young in that group; the kids participated in a lot of tours, supply drives, and service projects. An amazing thing happens when you bring your young kids to service opportunities; they never have to learn to serve. It just comes naturally because it has always been their reality.
But serving alongside a fifteen-year-old is a lot easier than working with a preschooler was! When the kids are young, they need simpler tasks, patient parents, and a lot of information on WHY we’re doing what we’re doing. With that in mind, I have created a Food Drive Scavenger Hunt that you can use to teach your kids, grandkids, or nieces and nephews about helping the hungry. It’s in a printable form right on this page, and I invite you to print and share as much as you like.
The printable lists five of the top needed food shelf staples, gives information about why they matter nutritionally, and educates on specifics to look for, like low sodium and whole-grains. I believe the whole scavenger hunt can be done for under $10 (depending on the choices you allow). Several kids can work together, or each kid can do his or her own list – that’s up to you and your budget. The scavenger hunt could work for kids as young as three if you do the reading, but would be informative and entertaining for kids as old as 12. It teaches best practices while still allowing kids to make choices. You can use the scavenger hunt to distract and entertain the kids during your regular grocery shopping, or you can make a special trip that ends with drop off at the food shelf.
I strongly encourage you to find ways that your young kids can serve their community. I know it can be a challenge for parents, but it’s a lot easier to introduce service when they’re young and want to help than it is when they’re older and would rather watch TV!
What ways have you found to include your children in community service? Share in the comments, and keep an eye out for more family-friendly service opportunities in the future!
Preview image is a .jpeg; follow the hyperlink above for the .pdf version to print. Feel free to share!