Family service

Volunteering as a family while kids are young develops a positive service habit that sticks long into adulthood. Use the following four tips to help ensure your kids understand the impact of their good deeds.

  • Celebrate your service!
  • If donating goods or money to a local charity, deliver the items with your kids in person so they can better internalize how they helped make a difference.
  • Be sure to talk about your family’s service experience. Discuss what you did, why you did it, how it felt, and what you learned.
  • Build on your kids’ enthusiasm and right then choose your next service project together.

Some service project ideas:

Younger kids

  • Decorate reusable grocery bags and fill them with the kids’ favorite non-perishable food items. (Locally, you can take those to Family Sharing in Grafton or The Food Pantry in Port Washington.)
  • Box up gently used clothing to donate. (St. Francis Borgia’s Inner City Ministry site on the east side of the North Church campus is an easy drop-off spot. Or you can take items to St. Vincent de Paul’s store in Port Washington.)
  • Clean up litter in your community. Pick up litter at the park or in your neighborhood–anywhere you can make a difference. It’s a simple act that makes a big difference.

Older kids

  • Donate their gently used books. Our school is collecting! Check out the details.
  • Engage a team of secret friends to clandestinely shovel snow for an elderly neighbor.
  • Collect used towels and pet toys for the local animal shelter.
  • Host a hot chocolate or cider stand and donate the proceeds to a charity of your choosing.
  • Show your local departments just how much the things they do everyday matter to the community with a special treat.

Adapted from an article at For the complete article, go to