Would you like to teach your kids to serve, while de-cluttering your house? Then I have an idea for you!
I have your attention now, right? Yeah, that's what I thought... :)
I heard years ago that some police stations & fire departments accept gently used stuffed animal donations. They give these stuffed animals to the children that they are called to help. These stuffed animals bring comfort to kids in a time of fear. In extreme cases their homes & all of their possessions have just been turned to ash, so if the firemen have a donated stuffed animal to give to the child, it gives them a sense of hope & comfort.
I figured this would be a quick, easy & inexpensive community service project for me to do with my toddler. I explained to her what the kids needed & how it would make them happy, then we headed to the toy room. She was all in. I was impressed with how giving Paige was. You can read here about how she taught me a thing or two about service & I'm so proud of her.
So, once the toys were collected, we bagged them up & took them to the fire department. Most of the firemen were training right outside of the department, so we caught one & told him that Paige wanted to donate some stuffed animals. They were extremely grateful, kind & cute with Paige. If you're lucky, maybe your child will get a fireman hat or maybe even a private tour if they're available!
Don't forget to take your camera. If you take any pictures, your child will love to look at them & it will be great to remind your child how much they helped other kids. I enjoyed telling her for the next couple of days how proud I was of her for helping 15 kids.
This is a project that can take you 15 minutes or, if you'd like to organize a toy drive, it could be done in a few weeks.
Now that my friends, is an easy way to serve with your child AND get your home less cluttered.
Quick Tip: Be sure to call your local fire & police departments before hand. Not all departments accept them, but if they don't they can most likely point you in the right direction. The only request our fire department had was that I bring them in bags.
There are many, many other places you can donate gently used toys:
- Local Children’s Hospital
- Salvation Army
- Ronald McDonald House
- Local Women’s Shelters
- Homeless Shelters
- Doctor’s Office
- Daycare Center
- Local Church Nursery
I always wanted to find ways to include my toddler in community service projects, but for the longest time I couldn't think of any ideas. Not to mention any ideas that I had time, money & energy for. One day I started brainstorming ideas & the thoughts haven't stopped coming. Click here to see more ideas.
This post was linked up at B-InspiredMama, Christian Mommy Bloggers, The ModestMomBlog, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Deep Roots at Home, Raising Homemakers, Southern Mess Moms, RaisingArrows, and Love That Max.
Do you have any other community service project ideas to do with kids? Share them below!
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*This post may contain affiliate links. What that means is that I will get a small percentage of what you purchase through the link. This will in no way charge you more money... in fact, I love to save money so I usually post links that are the best deals possible. I am only an affiliate for companies I personally use and recommend, so I know you will be in good hands. All money earned through my affiliate links or donations will go to my daughter's speech therapy.