Serve Where You Are!

Serving others in your community is a great way to connect with our neighbors and get outside ourselves by helping others. If the goal of service is to esteem and meet the needs of others, the possibilities are endless. Even Jesus described service in practical terms: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visiting the sick. What will you do to follow Jesus’ lead – stop talking and start doing! is an awesome website created to help you find service opportunities in your community.  Just Serve connects people who need help with people who want to give help.  From small projects to big, Just Serve is a great resource for anyone wanting to serve in their community.

How to get started?

Below is a list of some service ideas. It includes small projects that you can complete on your own in a few hours and larger projects that will take more time and people. If you prefer a project you can start on your own, do it! If you want to do a project where you’ll need more resources or people, check around your community to see if a similar program already exists that you can join. If not, don’t be afraid to start your own! Many organizations welcome new volunteers and community service projects.

Some considerations to keep in mind are:

Look over your interests: What kind of activities are appealing to you? If you’re particularly interested in working with, say, children or animals, you can easily find service activities related to your interests. You may also just want to perform particular community service activities that allow you to do hobbies you enjoy, like baking or acting.

Who would you like to help: Is there a specific group of people or cause you are passionate about? Look for opportunities related to that passion.

Figure out how much time you can devote: Are you free for the whole day of service or only for a couple of hours? Think about transportation as well and how you’ll be able to get to different locations.
What kind of impact do you want to have: Some people prefer service activities that have a quantifiable impact, for example, activities where you know the specific number of kids you tutored, dollars you raised, or cans of food you collected. Some people prefer quantifiable activities because enjoy knowing their exact impact on the community. In contrast, some activities don’t have such clear numbers, such as creating a garden or serving as a volunteer lifeguard. Still others prefer to serve in relative anonymity.

What skills would you like to gain: Service blesses other but it can also help you gain skills. These skills can range from teaching to medicine to construction and more. If there is a particular skill you’d like to learn for future classes, jobs, or just out of personal interest, you may want to see if there is a service activity that helps you learn that skill.

Research existing projects in your community: Contact your school, place of worship, or town hall for more information on volunteering. Or you could reach out directly to the place where you’d like to serve such as a particular animal shelter or nursing home, and ask if they take volunteers.


Service Ideas


• Donate or raise money for your local Red Cross

• Organize a community blood drive

• Donate blood. You could help save more than one life with just one donation <>
• Send cards to soldiers serving overseas

• For your next birthday, ask for charitable donations instead of gifts

• Hold a bake sale for your favorite charity

• Read books or letters to a person who is visually impaired

• Plan and organize an event or parade for Memorial Day

• Clean/Restore a veterans monument or memorial

• Collect unused makeup and perfume to donate to a center for abused women

• Help register people to vote

• Organize a car wash or bake sale and donate the profits to charity

• Help deliver meals and gifts to patients at a local hospital

• Register <> to be an organ donor

Helping Children and Schools

• Tutor children during or after school

• Become a mentor to someone who would benefit from your skills

• Donate stuffed animals to children in hospitals

• Organize games and activities for children in hospitals or who are visiting hospitalized relatives

• Knit or crochet baby blankets to be donated to hospitals or homeless shelters

• Make gifts with friends for kids in the hospital

• Recruit some friends or a class to help set up a library at a children’s hospital

• Collect baby clothes and supplies to donate to new parents

• Organize or volunteer at a Special Olympics event for children and teenagers

• Work with kids who have special needs on an art project

• Set up a buddy system with the special needs program at your school

• Volunteer to read books or newspapers to those who are visually impaired

• Raise money to purchase Braille books, large print books or other needed materials for the special needs program at a local school or community center

• Build a ramp for a person in a wheelchair to make their house more accessible

• Sponsor a bike-a-thon and give away bike safety gear, like helmets and knee pads, as prizes

• Collect used sports equipment to donate to families and after-school programs

• Volunteer at a summer camp for children who have lost a parent

• Sponsor a child living in a foreign country, either on your own or as part of a group

• Coach a youth sports team

• Put on performances for children in hospitals

• Give free music lessons to schoolchildren

• Volunteer at a teen crisis center

• Donate used children’s books to a school library

• Organize a reading hour for children at a local school or library

• Organize a reading program to encourage kids to read

• Organize events to help new students make friends

• Babysit children during a PTA meeting

• Work with the local health  department to set up an immunization day or clinic to immunize children against childhood diseases

• Volunteer to help with Vacation Bible School or other religious camps

Helping Senior Citizens

  • • Read to residents at a nursing home
  • • Adopt a “grandfriend”. Write them letters, call them, and visit often
  • • Deliver groceries and meals to an elderly neighbor – or gather friends and create a “shop squad” to pick up groceries and medicine for many nieghbors
  • • Teach computer or internet skills to the elderly
  • • Drive seniors to doctor appointments
  • • Mow an elderly neighbor’s lawn
  • • Host a bingo night for nursing home residents
  • • Host a holiday meal for senior citizens
  • • Make birthday cards for the elderly
  • • Donate and decorate for the season at a nursing home
  • • Organize a family day for residents of a retirement home and relatives to play games together
  • • Ask residents of a retirement home to tell you about their lives
  • • Help someone get active – offer to walk with an elderly neighbor
  • • Gather family and friends and organize a summer songfest or play to perform at a nursing or senior center
  • • Help elderly neighbors clean their homes and organize their belongings
  • • Rake leaves, shovel snow, or wash windows for a senior citizen
  • • Deliver cookies to a homebound senior citizen
  • • Deliver meals to homebound individuals
  • • Provide your local nursing home or library with more large-print books.

Helping Animals and the Environment

  • • Take care of cats and dogs at an animal shelter
  • • Clean up a local park
  • • Raise money to provide a bulletproof vest for a police dog
  • • Plant a tree for Arbor Day
  • • Contact a tree farm about volunteering
  • • Contact a tree farm about donating Christmas trees to nursing homes, hospitals, or to families who can’t afford to buy their own
  • • Place a bird feeder and bird fountain in your backyard
  • • Start a butterfly garden in your community
  • • Sponsor a recycling contest
  • • Grow flowers in your backyard then give bouquets to hospital patients or people who are housebound
  • • Help create a new walking trail at a nature center or park
  • • Update the signs along a nature trail
  • • Adopt an acre of rainforest
  • • Help train service dogs
  • • Participate in the cleanup of a local river, pond, or lake
  • • Foster animals that shelters don’t have space for
  • • Organize a spay and neuter your pet program
  • • Care for a neighbor’s pet while they are away
  • • Sponsor an animal at your local zoo
  • • Train your pet to be a therapy animal and bring it to hospitals or nursing homes
  • • Build and set up a bird house
  • • Organize a carpool to reduce car emissions
  • • Campaign for more bike lanes in your town
  • • Volunteer at a nature camp and teach kids about the environment
  • • Test the water quality of a lake or river near you
  • • Plant native flowers or plants along highways
  • Helping the Hungry and/or Homeless
  • • Build a house with Habitat for Humanity
  • • Donate your old clothes
  • • Volunteer at a soup kitchen – Help cook/serve meals at a homeless shelter
  • • Throw a birthday party for children who are homeless at a local shelter
  • • Donate old eyeglasses to an organization that collects that and distributes them to people in need
  • • Donate non-perishable food to a food bank
  • • Donate blankets to a homeless shelter
  • • Host a Thanksgiving dinner for people who may not be able to afford their own
  • • Offer to babysit or nanny for a family in need
  • • Make “care kits” with shampoo, toothbrushes, combs, etc. to donate to homeless shelters
  • • Prepare a home-cooked meal for the residents of a nearby homeless shelter
  • • Collect grocery coupons to give to a local food bank
  • • Help repair or paint a local homeless shelter
  • • Donate art supplies to kids in a homeless shelter
  • • Hold a book drive and donate the proceeds to the shelter, and then hold a read-a-thon or give a class on basic reading skills
  • • Offer to repair or alter clothes for people who are homeless
  • • Help organize and sort donations at a homeless shelter
  • • Babysit children while their parents look for jobs
  • • Become a Big Buddy for children at a homeless shelter
  • • Check with your local soup kitchen and if they accept home baked goods bake a batch of cookies or loaf of bread and deliver it to them
  • • Build flower boxes for Habitat for Humanity houses
  • • Organize a winter clothes drive to collect coats, hats, scarves, and gloves to be donated
  • • Make first aid kits for homeless shelters
  • • Organize a free, public nutrition awareness campaign
  • • Work with your local shelter to take children who are homeless on outings to a movie, zoo, or other fun location
  • • Always keep a few granola bars on hand J!
  • Neighborhood Enhancement
  • • Help people clean, paint and repair their homes
  • • Volunteer to clean up trash around a neighborhood
  • • Create a mural that depicts values of your community
  • • Plan and plant a neighborhood garden
  • • Organize a block party for everyone to get to know each other better
  • • Volunteer to host a neighborhood get-together where you teach a skill; crafting, gardening, yoga etc.
  • • When fall comes around, distribute leaf bags and offer to assist neighbors with raking their yards
  • • Campaign for additional lighting along poorly lit streets
  • • Put together an emergency calling chain
  • • Help others get active – offer to walk with a friend or sign up for physical activity together
  • • Send an encouraging message or handwritten note card to someone going through a difficult time
  • • Offer to babysit for a couple or a single parent who don’t get out often
  • • Provide a ride for people who can’t drive (children, elderly, disabled, etc)

Reducing Crime and Promoting Safety

  • • Volunteer at a police station or firehouse• Become a certified lifeguard and volunteer at a local pool or beach• Paint over graffiti in your neighborhood• Organize a self-defense workshop• Organize a drug-free campaign• Sponsor a drug-free post-prom event

    • Start or join a neighborhood watch program

    • Create and distribute a list of hotlines for people who might need help

    • Teach a home-alone safety class for children

    • Create a TV or radio public service announcement against drug and alcohol use

    • Become CPR certified

    • Volunteer as a crossing guard for an elementary school

Promoting Community Enhancement

  • • Paint park benches• Donate used books to your local library• Become a tour guide at your local museum• Repaint community fences• Plant flowers in bare public areas• Organize a campaign to raise money to buy and install new playground equipment for a park

    • Participate in or help organize a community parade

    • Clean up vacant lot

    • Produce a neighborhood newspaper

    • Campaign for more lighting along poorly lit streets

    • Create a newcomers group in your neighborhood to help welcome new families

    • Petition your town leaders to build more drinking fountains and public restrooms

    • Volunteer to clean up trash at a community event

    • Adopt a local highway or road and clean up trash along it

    • Help fix or raise funds to repair a run-down playground

    • Clean up after a natural disaster

Ways for Kids to Volunteer

  • • Do the dishes without being asked• Offer to help a younger sibling with his/her homework• Contact your school principal ask how you can volunteer at school• Contact your pastor about volunteering in your church office• Go through your closets and donate old books and games to your local hospital• Visit someone from your church who is hospitalized. Your pastor can help you with this

    • Depending on the season, shovel snow or mow the lawns in your neighborhood

    • Offer to help your mom clean out closets then organize a yard sale and give the profits to charity

    • Bring baked goods to someone who is sick or hurting

    • Write an encouraging note and leave it in a friend’s locker

    • Start a Bible study or club in your school

    • Ask your youth pastor how you can help set up or tear down for youth group

    • Send an anonymous donation to someone you know who is struggling financially

    • Volunteer to rock babies in the NICU at your local hospital

    • Pick a missionary and commit to pray for them one hour each week

    • Plant an herb garden in a pot and take it to an elderly couple

    • Instead of pitching them, give your old clothes to a local shelter

    • Send a care package to deployed soldiers

    • On garbage day, pull everyone in the neighborhood’s garbage cans back to their houses

    • Call a momma you know and offer to babysit for free

    • Get permission to make some encouraging posters and anonymously hang them around your school. Here are a few slogans you can totally steal! Some ideas might be: You Matter, You’re a BIG Deal, Be the best you, Kindness begins with you!

    • What is your mom’s least favorite household chore? (Laundry, dishes, sweeping the kitchen floor?) Take over that job for her

    • Fast one meal and give the $ you would have spent to charity

    • Adopt a grandma or grandpa at your local nursing home and visit regularly

    • Write encouraging notes on all of your friends’ Facebook walls

    • Make and deliver chemo care packages to a cancer center

    • Write a note to your teachers telling them you appreciate their investment in you

    • Do a chore for a brother or sister without them knowing

    • Recognize someone that might be lonely and make plans with them

    • Organize a food drive in your church or school

    • Plan a talent night and give the money raised to charity

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