Teaching kids the importance of giving back is a critical part of raising a compassionate person. These service activities, from the 4‑H Inspire Kids to Do™ Activity Guides, are great ways to do more to help those in your community.


Handmade Fleece Scarves for the Homeless

Gather your friends or family together to create handmade fleece scarves and tie them around trees near a homeless area.

Supplies

  • Fleece fabric
  • Scissors

Activity Steps

  1. Enlist help from friends and family.
  2. Purchase fleece fabric.
  3. Cut the fabric in strips of 10” x48” (you may cut small strips at the end of the longer pieces to make it look like fringe).
  4. Locate areas that homeless citizens tend to be located (you can call a homeless shelter or local soup kitchen to ask, too).
  5. Take friends and family with you to tie the scarves around trees before cold weather arrives.

Stuff a Truck for Service Members

Create a “stuff a truck” event or collection to send care packages overseas to service members (or others in need like hurricane victims). You can start by asking shoppers to buy something extra to say thank you to members of our Armed Forces. It teaches kids public speaking skills, fundraising, community support, and teamwork.

What You’ll Need to Do

  • Research
  • Create signs/posters
  • Find a store
  • Create a donation jar
  • Send donations

Activity Steps

  1. Research which organizations are providing care packages for service members, what kind of contributions they need, and where/how you can send supplies.
  2. Select your organization and create signs or posters to inform people about the cause and organization you’re supporting.
  3. Pick a local store with a lot of foot traffic (or a handful if you’ll do this with a big group or multiple times) and dates for your activity. Visit the store to speak with a manager to get approval for your plans.
  4. Have kids stand by the main entrance of a popular store with posters describing their cause, preprinted notes with items for the public to purchase and bags to put them in.
  5. Have a donation jar out and prime it with a few dollars.
  6. Help the kids develop their pitches. For example:
    • Would you like to say ‘thank you’ to our Armed Forces by buying just a few items to put in a care package?
    • Would you like to add another item to your basket to help families affected by the hurricane?
  7. Teach the kids to thank the person, whether they participate or not.
  8. Send the donated items to the organization you chose, following their guidelines of where, how and what.

Pillows for the Homeless

This is a simple, inexpensive, lightweight, and helpful item to make that teaches kids that we can all help someone in need in small but meaningful ways.

Supplies

  • Kitchen towels
  • Shopping bags
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread

Activity Steps

  1. Cut the shopping bags up into pieces and crumple them into small balls for stuffing.
  2. Sew 3 sides of the towel together and stuff with bags.
  3. Sew the last side by hand.
  4. Contact a local shelter to donate your finished pillows, or carry some in your car with various other hygiene supplies and non-perishable food items to give to community members in need.

Looking for more ways to inspire your kids? Check out the Inspire Kids to Do™: Kids’ Guide to Mindfulness!