A Group Community Service Project

I was at the parent’s meeting for our new homeschool group when the mothers lamented that they wished they had another group community service project idea besides tying blankets for our local children’s hospital. Since I used to hot a monthly service club for kids, I jumped right in. I learned a lot while hosting our club, and I was excited to set up a new project. It went great, so I wanted to share this idea in case any other groups are looking for projects.

I’ve learned that some of the easiest activities are putting together kits. I got some great ideas by working Seeds of Caring in Columbus. They do a great job increasing the meaning of community service for kids. They often include personal notes, and I’ve made it a habit to always add a note to every project we do. It allows the kids to think about the person they’re giving the kits to, and I hope it allows the receivers to feel that some individual thought went in to their kit.

Getting Started

These homeless kits are a simple group community service project, suitable for preschoolers to adults. The kits can be donated to a local shelter or given out yourself. If you’re worried about finding an organization, let me say that the first contact is usually the hardest.

To find the shelter that we worked with on this project, I emailed my local United Way and explained that I needed a project for a homeschool group. I got a quick response with the contact information for a few organizations in our county. The first one I contacted was slightly unresponsive. But the second was excited about our idea. I asked the contact what things she would like for us to include and these kits are based almost exclusively around her recommendation. All this to say, don’t let the contacting part scare you, it just takes a bit of persistence at first.

Find your local United Way by typing in your zip code here. I definitely recommend finding an organization before making your kits.

The Details

These kits are going to be really easy because I’ve already done a lot of the legwork for you, since I’m sharing links to the supplies we used. You can easily make kits in multiples of 12 with the links I’m sharing. If you don’t want to make 12 kits, you may end up paying more per kit. These end up being just under $10 per kit for men’s kits and about $12 per kit for women’s kits (at the time of posting).

We made 12 women’s kits and 12 men’s kits. If you only do 12 kits and want to use the supplies we did, you will have to select men or women (due to the women’s and men’s things being sold in different quantities).

Winter Hats– I was impressed with the quality of these hats. Comes in a set of 12.

Men’s Winter Gloves– Purchase 4 packs per 12 kits.

Women’s Winter Gloves– Purchase 3 packs per 12 kits.

I bought the rest of our supplies at our local Walmart, since it was cheaper and easier for me.

Hot Hands– You’ll need one of these packs and two single packs per 12 kits.

ChapStick– You’ll need 4 packs per 12 kits.

Men’s Socks– This is a 12 pack.

Women’s Socks– This was the trickiest, since most women’s socks come in a pack of 10. I ended up buying 2 packs for a total of 20 pairs and just throwing an extra pair in a few of the kits. HERE is a 12 pack pair I just found on Amazon, which are more expensive, so the cost is about the same whatever you choose.

Gallon Bags– Don’t forget bags to hold all the supplies!

Collecting Money

I would ask for RSVPs to be in at least a week in advance. I collected all the money via Venmo and PayPal at the time of RSVP. Then I purchased all the supplies and had it ready for the day of our activity. The gloves took longer to ship and came in the afternoon after our activity, so make sure you schedule yourself to order everything in plenty of time!

Hosting the Activity

I started our activity by reading Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming. I think you’re never too old for a good picture book. And this one is exquisite. It’s based on a true story and shows us a glimpse of what a generous gift means to someone in need. Plus, the true story is on the dust jacket inside the back cover. Truly worth the read.

If I were a fancy blogger I would have pictures of our setup. Just imagine it.

I set up a few tables with half sheets of paper and pens, pencils, crayons, markers, etc. The kids each made a note before putting together their kits.

I had everything laid out (with the men’s supplies and women’s supplies separated). The kids labeled their bag, added a note, and put one (or a pair) of everything in. I had a box ready to collect the finished kits, and that was it! So there’s a super easy, fun group community service project.

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