11.15.2017

Show + Tell Tuesday {Serving Others}

Today I am linking up with Andrea for Show & Tell Tuesday & I am really excited about the topic....Serving Others.

Serving Others & Service is something that is near & dear to my heart, I feel like it's so important to give back.

Before I had kids & growing up, I mostly served others with my time by going on Mission Trips.

The first mission trip I went on, I was in 7th grade and our church Youth Group went to Mexico to build houses for a week one summer. It was an amazing experience & I went on the trip again when I was in 8th grade.
My Senior Year of High School, I went on the Mexico Mission trip during Spring Break, but for that trip we didn't build houses, we did a Vacation Bible School for some kids in the Orphanage. 
These kids were amazing...it was so much fun teaching them about Jesus & playing with them. 
Side Note...On that Spring Break Mexico trip, it resulted in one of my most embarrassing moments ever.

I ended up getting lice from one of the kids in the orphanage....we gave them piggy back rides all week & I got lice! I will never forget that trip, the lice was worth it ;)
You can read about that {HERE}

When I was 22 , I had the opportunity to go to NYC after 9/11 with our church to serve the firefighters of FDNY and serve them warm meals & help with relief efforts.
You can read more about that trip {HERE}

In 2006 a few months before I got pregnant with Kate, I had the opportunity to go to New Orleans & Mississippi with our church for Hurricane Katrina relief and build houses for a community in McComb, Mississippi.

You can read more about that trip {HERE}

That was the last mission trip I have gone on because life has gotten busy with 3 kids and even though I love going on Mission Trips, I know that I am in a season of life right now where that isn't going to happen. I would love to go to Africa on a Mission Trip and I would love to have us go as a family to serve, but I know that won't be until my kids are a lot older.
For the past 10 years, my mission field is my kids & my family and I am focusing on serving them and raising them up to be nice people and hoping that they have a heart to serve others.

If you ask my kids what I tell them the most (besides I love you) is the phrase:
"It's nice to be nice"
This is our family saying.
We want to raise kids who are kind and nice to others & who aren't jerks.
Kids who grow up to be teenagers & adults who think before they speak and who have compassion & servant's hearts.
I don't care if they aren't the smartest, the most talented or most athletic, I want them to be nice, kind people.

One thing that I think is so important is to do things as a family to serve others.

 Here are awesome organizations that we support :

Charity:Water - a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of public donations fund water projects. Charity:Water is the organization we used for Project 320 in 2009 & 2010 & we were able to fund 3 wells in Africa. Kevin's high school small group funded a well in the Spring through Charity:Water during our church's Kingdom Assignment Outreach.

Heifer Project (donate an animal to give a family a source of food for a year. A few years ago, one of my students donated a goat in my name.Best Christmas present from a student. EVER.


Compassion International - sponsor a kid for $38 a month to give them food, shelter, education, health care and the opportunity to learn about Jesus in a neighborhood church program.
Kevin and I have sponsored Compassion children since before we were married. We currently sponsor 3 Compassion kids, 2 girls and a boy. The girls have the same birthdays as my girls and the boy has the same birthday as Luke. If you search the Compassion website you can pick your own child to sponsor & search by birthdate. My kids love that their Compassion kids have the same birthday as them :)

Team World Vision:  My older sister Elyse has run several marathons & races for Team World Vision. 2 years ago, I ran a Half Marathon with Team World Vision raising money for Fresh Water wells in Africa.
Water changes the lives of children in Africa.

They have better health, improved nutrition, and can go to school instead of spending the day fetching water. Through World Vision’s comprehensive and sustainable water projects across Africa, $50 will provide clean water for one person for a lifetime.
It was such a great experience.
As a family, every Spring we also participate in Team World Vision's Global 6K walk/run on World Water Day.
Your race entry is $50 and the run/walk is a 6K....3.72 miles  is the average distance children in Africa have to walk daily for water.
It was a great lesson for my kids to do this event, the photo of the child on their their bibs that we supported have to walk 4 miles each day to get water & sometimes that isn't even clean water.
We let them know that now the kids on our bibs who we sponsored & ran for will have access to clean water for the rest of their lives.
 Every Spring Team World Vision hosts a Global 6k around the US and world...you can check to see if there is one near you!

One of my VERY favorite things to do with the kids is to make Blessing Bags.
Every year we go to San Francisco during December to check out the Christmas decorations & go ice skating.
 If you have been to SF before, you know there is a big homeless population. So, when we go, I bring "Blessing Bags"
You can put whatever you want in your Blessing Bags.
I fill them with a $5 gift card to McDonalds, a granola bar, peanut butter crackers, fig newtons & a juice box & a new pair of socks. (You can also put in gloves/bottled water, etc)
 A little thing for us to do & a big difference to those who receive it.

My kids LOVE helping put these together & they make cards to include in the Blessing Bags.

We mostly give them out in December, but Kevin and I also keep one in our cars so that if we see a homeless person at a stoplight, we can give them a Blessing Bag.
We also keep a few on hand for when we go to SF during the year we have a couple more Blessing Bags to bring.
You can read my post HERE on how to make Blessing Bags.


2 years ago I started taping this note to my front door along with Starbucks Gift Cards


I do 99% of my Christmas Shopping online, so I have a lot of packages that get delivered. I appreciate all the hard work of the UPS, Fed Ex & USPS workers!
You can download the Free printable HERE

We also like to do Random Acts of Kindness throughout the Holiday Season. 
Here are some fun things we like to do:
Tape a dollar on the Red Box machine so that someone could get their rental paid for.

Buy lotto tickets & tape them to the gas pump.
 

Add money to a vending machine so that someone would get an unexpected free soda.

 You can see other Random Acts of Kindness ideas HERE and HERE

There are so many little ways you can serve others, especially during the Holiday season.
Adopt a Family, Make a Blessing Bag,
 Angel Tree, Operation Christmas Child,  Donate cans to a Food Bank.
I am always looking for new ways that we can serve others in big or small ways, so I would love to hear what you do serve & give back!

3 comments:

  1. Love these ideas! Especially the Blessing Bags & Random Act of Kindness. We will incorporate these this holiday season. We also take the Girl Scout troop caroling at an old person's facility during the holidays and bring them homemade cards.

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  2. I love the blessing bags. What a great idea. I also like donating coats and toys during the holidays. I was in NYC for the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. St Paul's had such a beautiful tribute to everyone who was there to help. Staten Island has a lovely memorial, it's a short walk from the Ferry and well worth the trip.

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