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Service With a Smile

6 service projects that’ll capture kids’ Attention
and hearts!

Kids love to serve! And the more hands-on the service, the better!
Yet sometimes it’s easy for us to get in a rut of the same old
service project year after year. That’s why our staff searched for
these six rut-busting ideas that perhaps you’ve never heard of

Share these ideas with the children in your ministry, and ignite
the fire of world-changing service in their hearts. They’ll once
again serve with a smile!

Operation Toy Box donates Kid Kits to American Red Cross chapters.
Each Kid Kit is a gallon-sized Ziploc bag filled with craft items
and a toy or stuffed animal. Red Cross volunteers from each
participating chapter distribute the kits to children who’ve
experienced a disaster. Kid Kits provide comfort, diversion, and
familiarity to a traumatized child.

The children in your ministry can get involved in this service
project by donating individual items or supplies for a complete
Craft Bag Project. Supplies include safety scissors, half-sheets of
construction paper, 8-pack crayons, stickers, glue sticks, stamper
markers, a fun pad or small coloring book, and small toys that’ll
fit in a one-gallon Ziploc bag. To make fabric Craft Bags, log on
to the following site for project instructions:

Send Craft Bags and any financial contributions to Operation Toy
Box, Inc., 114 White’s Lane, Louisburg, North Carolina 27549.
Include the names of children who donated so Operation Toy Box can
send a thank you note directly to each child. If you have
questions, call (919) 554-1410.

Children to Children, founded by elementary student Mackenzie
Snyder, has delivered more than 10,000 duffel bags, suitcases, and
backpacks to foster kids. Each bag has a stuffed animal attached to
it. Mackenzie got this service idea when she learned that many
foster kids who move to new homes carry their belongings in plastic
garbage bags.

The kids in your ministry can provide the same service to foster
kids in your community. Contact your social services agency to
coordinate the details. Have kids attach a note similar to
Mackenzie’s to each bag: “God told me you could use a duffel bag
and a cuddly friend. So I send this with love to you.”

From the Girl Scouts of the USA, here’s a great project for a
homeless shelter, a social services agency, or a school

Fill a gift bag with items to give a party. Include a cake mix,
cake frosting, a baking pan, candles, decorations, balloons, paper
goods, favors, a birthday card, and a small wrapped gift. Tag each
bag with the appropriate age level and gender.

Taylor Crabtree, 11, founded TayBear Company when she was only 7.
Taylor’s goal was to buy 50 teddy bears to give to children with
cancer and chronic blood diseases. With the help of hundreds of
other kids, and a few grown-ups, Taylor has given away more than
16,832 TayBear teddy bears.

Taylor raises money to buy the bears by selling hairclips,
handpainted by a growing corps of volunteers. She sells the clips
outside local stores, at speaking engagements, and from her Web

To discover how to get involved, go to Taylor’s Web site.

Children in your ministry have learned about leprosy in the Bible,
but they need to know that, while curable, leprosy is still present
today. The American Leprosy Missions organization reports that one
million people are receiving or need medical care for leprosy.
Another two to four million people suffer disabilities from leprosy
and require ongoing care. More than half a million new cases are
detected each year throughout the world.

The American Leprosy Missions organization provides a Sunday
school lesson packet to raise kids’ awareness. Children can also
raise or donate money. For the average cost of an XBox system and a
game, kids can provide money for a person with leprosy to be

Check out this list of items kids can give toward.
• Canvas shoes for insensitive feet: $11/pair
• Sandals to protect insensitive feet: $7/pair
• Locally made crutches: $4 each
• Artificial leg (below knee) and foot: $90
• Locally constructed wheelchair: $200
• One-month hospital care for wounds, ulcers, and leprosy
reaction: $150
• Farmer training, supplies, and equipment: $500
• Training for patient deformity prevention: $25
• Surgery to restore eyelid blinking: $55
• “Clawed” fingers/toes surgery: $40
• Below-the-knee amputation: $55
• “Foot drop” correction: $85
• Patient/ex-patient housing: $100
• Cure one person of leprosy: $240
For more information, go to or call 800-543-3135.

When children with cancer lose their hair due to chemotherapy,
older girls usually wear wigs, and little boys wear baseball caps.
When a little girl loses her hair, though, she has nothing
attractive to wear on her head. So the Quilters Guild of Dallas
created a simple pattern to make hats for these children.

The Bonnet is simple to make and requires very basic sewing
skills. However, mixing adults with your children for this service
project is a good idea. The American Cancer Society accepts Comfort
Bonnet donations.

For bonnet-making instructions, go to

To make a reversible Comfort Bonnet, follow these

Two coordinating fabrics at least 22 inches square, a 20-inch
length of elastic, decorative trims, scissors, a sewing machine,
thread, and an iron.

• Cut two circles that are 22 inches in diameter.
• Sew the two circles right sides together with a ¼- to ½-inch
seam allowance, leaving a small opening to turn right-side out.

• Turn and close the opening with a slip stitch or machine
• Press around the outside edge, and machine stitch ¼-inch around
the edge of the brim.
• To make tubing for the elastic, measure 3½ inches in from the
edge of the brim and sew one row of stitching around the crown of
the hat and another row of stitching
¾ inches in from the previous row.
• Cut a small slit in one layer of fabric and insert a length of
20-inch elastic into the sewn tubing. Secure the ends by hand or
• Gather up the brim in one area and decorate with ribbon,
flowers, a decorative pin, or other decorations.

Printed by permission of Marcia Shurtleff and the Quilter’s
Guild of Dallas.

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Service With a Smile

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