Giving Back: Neighborhood Service Project
Once a year, my community does a neighborhood service project. Our local church leaders find different families that may need extra help. They might be single mothers, widows, the elderly , or someone that is sick or unable to care for their yard on their own. Families are invited to gather together and serve one another by doing yard work. A list of service projects is compiled, and families are assigned to different projects and homes.
I look forward to doing this activity with my family every year. I am always amazed at how excited my kids get about going to a complete stranger's home and working for 2-3 hours.
This year, we went to a single mother's home and removed dead tree branches and stumps.
We sprayed out water spouts, cleaned debris from rain gutters, and swept walkways.
These cute girls had a blast weeding a parking strip.
This mom and her sons trimmed bushes and trees.
Over 15 families participated in the service project this year. One mom told me that her daughter's friend was begging her mom to let her pull weeds with our group. Service is infectious. It is good for the soul. I can't think of a better way to teach my children how to give back to those in need.
After the project was over, I read a quote by one of the recipients on Facebook. Here is what she had to say. "Ok, so I have to say thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone who helped me in my yard and everyone else's yards. I can't tell you how truly blessed I am to live in a neighborhood like ours. I feel overwhelmed a lot, and you have taken a huge burden off of my shoulders. As I'm writing this, tears are rolling down my face. I just love you guys so much". Reading this makes me realize how important it is to serve others.
Ideas for Neighborhood Service Projects
- Arrange a clothing drive and donate money to a charity or a neighbor in need.
- Hold a bake sale to raise money for a neighborhood project.
- Schedule a day to refinish or paint a community fence.
- Pick up trash in your neighborhood.
- Have a food drive in your neighborhood and donate proceeds to a local food bank.
- Plant a community garden.
- Distribute leaf bags in the fall, and assist neighbors in raking their leaves.
- Gather combs, soap, shampoo, tooth brushes, wash clothes, and razors and create hygiene kits for a local homeless shelter or woman's center.
- Organize a community dog wash and donate proceeds to a local animal shelter.
What are some of the ways you and your family like to serve your neighbors?
Jill Greenlaw has a banking background. She gave that up 17 years ago when she got married and started having kids. She loved being a stay-at-home mom while raising her four beautiful children. A few years ago, Jill went back to work in sales. She now works as part of the Mom It Forward team as Community Manager. She loves her job. Her interests include camping, motorcycling, boating, photography, reading, cooking, and traveling. Put her in flip flops anywhere warm and she is happy.