Is your group looking for creative ways to serve your community? Here's some great ideas from Keith D. Wright.
- Project Warmth. Collect blankets, coats, and other warm clothing for the homeless. One group advertise their annual "blanket run" in the church newsletter and receives several truckloads of donated items. The also approach area businesses for monetary donations to buy rain ponchos and socks (the most requested items). Deliver you bounty to local homeless shelters and soup kitchens for distribution.
- Graffiti Be Gone. Gather buckets, scrub brushes, sandpaper, hoses. etc. and throw a graffiti clean-up party. Concentrate on a single area and you can achieve tangible results in one day.
- Urban Garden. Help urban dwellers turn an abandoned city lot into a garden by providing seeds, tools, and muscle. Begin by checking with City Hall in case special permits are required. The set a time to plant the garden, alongside other neighborhood resident. As you tend the garden all summer, relationships will grow along with the plants.
- Prettify a Park. Is there a neglected park in your neighborhood? Get permission from the appropriate local agency, then roll up your sleeves. You'll need trash bags, work gloves, brooms, and gardening implements. Bring large pieces of screen to sift broken glass, gum, and dangerous objects from sandboxes. You may also need tools for repairing fences. Paint hopscotch and forswore courts on the asphalt. Ask local businesses to donate fresh sand or tan bark.
Expect plenty of onlookers. Perhaps you could invite the curious to a cookout at the park to celebrate its restoration.
- Treating without the Tricks. Instead of collecting treats at Halloween, distribute them. One small group dressed in amusing (but non-scary) costumes and distributed sweets at a children's hospital (check with the hospital first). This group was able to pray with some of the children's parents, providing hope and encouragement.