Kids in Motion are real-life kids who are making a difference. These practical ideas will move your kids to serve others this summer.
School’s out, and the kids in your ministry are facing hours of free time. While serving their community isn’t necessarily the first thing most kids volunteer to do, with a little inspiration you can spark ideas for missions that kids can get genuinely excited about. We tracked down stories of ordinary kids all over the world who’ve acted on their passions and created really big ways to serve.
Every child in your ministry has passion; it’s just a matter of tapping that passion to impact people in need. Every child has something important to contribute, and summer downtime is an ideal time to motivate the young world-changers in your ministry.
Who’s more concerned about kids’ issues than kids themselves? From topics as varied as self-worth to dealing with bullies, kids have something to say. And it’s kids who can empower other kids to team up against bullying. Corey Taylor of North Las Vegas, Nevada, was so passionate about making a positive change that at age 16 she began self-funding her own Teen Radio Talk Show. Airing once a week, her program discusses kids’ issues, promotes positivity and kindness, and speaks out against bullying.
Jake Marcionette of Ponte Vedra, Florida, spoke out against bullying, too, when at age 12 he wrote his New York Times best-seller “Just Jake.” Jake felt there weren’t enough good books for boys his age, so he wrote one. This fictional book tells a humorous tale of a new kid in town who does his best to avoid a bully.
Born with HIV, Paige Rawl of Indianapolis, Indiana, was bullied for a disease she had nothing to do with contracting. At age 14, she became the youngest person to be certified as an American Red Cross educator on HIV/AIDS. She has since pushed to pass an anti-bullying bill in Indiana and toured with the “I Need You to Listen, Hear, and Understand Me TOUR,” educating youth at schools and churches about HIV/AIDS and bullying.
KIDS EDUCATING KIDS
When children hear of injustice or inequality, they often want to act. Most kids want others to have what they do—hopefully love, education, and health. Mateo Fernandez, 9, of Bahasa, Indonesia, gave up something to give to kids in need. Mateo and his friends had been renting computers so kids could play Minecraft, but when he learned of poor families in his area, he convinced his friends to give some of their proceeds to The World Bank to print 145 extra book sets to show poor families how to better educate their kids.
Koa Halpern, 12, of Denver, Colorado, wanted to improve kids’ health. He was concerned by the lack of health benefits in fast food and the health of his peers, so he started a nonprofit called Fast Food Free to educate kids about the downside of fast food. He speaks kid to kid as he looks for strategies to help kids get excited about taking care of their bodies.
Get Kids Moving
Your kids can help educate kids in your area, too. Set up a brainstorming session to plan. Start by asking your kids to talk about some of the needs they’ve noticed. Maybe they’ve heard of kids who can’t afford school supplies, or maybe they’ve noticed kids in their school who are falling behind in reading. If your kids haven’t already noticed things, challenge them to look for needs over a one- or two-week period.
For your second brainstorming session, have kids talk about things they could do to help. Maybe they’d want to host a book drive to collect books for a community library or maybe they’d be willing to rent out their own books to encourage their peers to read more. They could also read to younger children at libraries, or they could start a “reading in the park” club. Whatever your kids decide, help them to focus on one or two strong ideas, and then work with children to come up with a tangible plan to carry out the service. They don’t have to start a nonprofit or something huge in scale. But they can give according to their own gifts, talents, and time. Here is a brainstorming template.