10 Creative Ways Kids Can Serve Others

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What Kids can Learn from Serving Others?

Encouraging kids to serve others is a great way to teach citizenship. Citizens understand there is a world greater than themselves. They make it a better place to live through helping others.

How Kids Benefit from Serving Others?

Kids who are involved in community service tend to be more confident because they have periods where they can forget about themselves and focus on others.

When kids are constantly thinking about themselves, they tend to focus on their flaws. This is where low self-esteem is usually developed because they constantly compare themselves to others.

Other Benefits of Community Service?

Serving others opens your eyes to those who are less fortunate than yourself. Also it boosts a child’s self esteem when they can apply their talents and skills to the benefit of others.

Children, as young as three years old, can learn about serving others. I have provided creative ways kids can help others below.

These service ideas are a collection of my personal experiences and recommendations from the book 77 Creative Ways Kids Can Serve by Sondra Clark. The author gives wonderful ideas for kids to assist people, animals, and the environment.

Let’s get started!

1. Collect Tennis Balls for Animals Shelters

Volunteers use the balls to interact with the animals

  • Contact local tennis clubs and ask if they have old balls they don’t need.
  • Ask tennis high school team coaches (if you have one) to announce that you are collecting balls  for animals in shelters.
  • Contact local parks and the recreation department for tennis balls.
  • Set up a drop-off time with animal shelters in your area.

tennis balls

2.  Prepare Birthday Bags for Children Living in Shelters 

It’s difficult for parents living in shelters to provide birthday parties for their children, but you can help.

3. Give Giggle Bags 

Bring joy to kids in the hospital with giggle bags.

birthday bags

4. Help Habitat for Humanity – Even if you are too young to build

Go to the Bottom of this Post and Get Access to Service and Gift Ideas from Real Moms. These Moms Share the Service Projects they have done with their Children.

5. Build a Rock Garden for a Senior 

6. Recycle at Home

  • Have a family meeting about ways to recycle.
  • Make a list of ideas like buying in bulk, use reusable containers for lunch, recycle old batteries at the local drugstore, and donating old clothes and furniture to charity.

recycling kid

7. Collect Coins for Those in Need

  • Provide for people who suffer from war, disease, poverty, or natural disasters a gift.
  • Go to the World Hope Website and find the gift catalog to choose a category such as education.
  • Have children collect coins for the need they would like to fill.
  • Call World Hope at 888-466-4673 and decide on the best way to deliver the money.

8. Create Senior Emergency Kits

9. Give Stuffed Animals to Offer Comfort

  • Firefighters and police officers frequently deal with kids going through tough situations and stuffed animals can help comfort these children.
  • Ask the police and fire stations if they would like stuffed animals.
  • Get stuffed animals by looking through your old toys and asking friends and relatives.
  • Ask local stores and office buildings for boxes to store animals.
  • Get ribbons to put around the stuffed animals’ necks.

stuffed animals

10. Pack Up Backpacks for Foster Kids

  • Help foster children by collecting backpacks and small suitcases to help them as they move to a new home.
  • Call your local Social Services or Child Protective Services Office to see if they could use backpacks.
  • Write letters to big stores like Wal-Mart or Target and ask them to donate back packs.
  • Ask local schools for backpacks in their lost and found boxes (that are not claimed).
  • Add a stuff animal in the bag if possible and deliver them to the Social Service agencies you contacted.

There are many ways kids can serve others. Please share your ideas in the comments below!

Happy Serving!

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Volunteers: Let’s Keep Them!


How do you keep volunteers? You show them value. In other words, let them use their gifts, talents, and skills to benefit your students. Ask them how they WANT to assist you and what they want to experience while volunteering with your organization. Then, listen to how they can be an asset to your organization.

For example, an Education major may want to facilitate innovative lesson plans they created with your students. A computer programmer professional may want to create a computerized program that will educate your students on anti-bullying tactics or goal-setting.

Yes, you may have other duties you need completed. However, try to take care of their needs first. You may find once their needs are met, they are happy to meet yours.

In the past, I always thought about what volunteers could give to our organization and the youth we serve.

However, once I started to show our volunteers value, it became an enjoyable experience for them and our youth.  I also retained their services for longer periods of time. Additionally, I received great ideas from our volunteers because they felt their opinions mattered.

Try it out and see if it works for you!

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Volunteers: Let’s Bring Them In!


Last month, I was speaking to an After-School Program Director by phone. While inquiring about our curricula, she mentioned being the only instructor for her program. I assumed hiring more instructors was not in the organization’s budget.

So, I asked her, “Do you live near a university or college?”

She said “yes” and named three colleges that were nearby. I advised her to call those schools and ask for the Community Services/Outreach and Education major departments.

Most colleges have Community Services/Outreach departments because they want to have a positive relationship with their community. You can speak with or email the department director or coordinator and communicate your need for a volunteer. In my experience, the coordinator usually requests a paragraph explaining the need for a volunteer and they will distribute the information throughout the college.

In college, I was a Bonner Scholar, which is a service based scholarship. We were required to get 10 hours of community service each week.

While in graduate school, I had the Master in Business students volunteer with me to teach financial literacy in local schools.

Education majors are always looking for opportunities to work with youth. You can speak to the head of the department and inform them of your volunteer opportunities. Maybe the volunteers can create lesson plans and share new innovative teaching and learning techniques.

Bonus Tip: If you have younger students, you can call local high schools and request volunteers. As a member of the National Honor Society in high school, we were required to get community service hours as well. Typically, the high school guidance counselor can assist you.

Bonus Tip 2: If you don’t live near a college or university, contact local churches, local businesses,(some businesses give employees time off to volunteer) your friends, and family.

I have even found volunteers at the gym!

Happy Recruiting!