Already read our top 5 service project ideas? Then read below to see more service project ideas.
respect your elders
Visit the home of an elderly person who lives on a fixed income. Bring the right tools to get the place in shape and looking better than you found it. You can offer to paint the house, work in the garden, do some heavy lifting, walk the dog, clean and dust, take out the trash . . . you get the idea. Get in touch with the person ahead of time so you can have a to-do list ready for your group.
If you can’t find an individual to help, visit your local retirement home and sing songs, play bingo, serve dinner, or simply sit and talk with the residents.
feed the homeless
If you are looking to really stretch the hearts and stomachs of your group, volunteer to serve breakfast, lunch, or dinner at your local homeless shelter.
You might choose to pre-pack sack lunches and drop them off at a shelter or soup kitchen — or actually visit the shelter to help serve a prepared meal (check with the facility to verify what will work). A visit to the shelter will put into perspective how hungry millions of people can be every day.
Make sure to contact the shelter or soup kitchen well before your Famine weekend to get on their schedule and get instructions about things like what to wear or what you can include in pre-made sack lunches.
“We jumped in our church van armed with snow shovels (there was at least one foot of snow on the ground!), cleaning supplies and garbage bags. We started out in prayer asking God to lead us [to] be a help to people. As we drove out of the parking lot, I pointed out, ‘When do we have time to simply be available to help other people? How can we help someone today? We are going to drive around and if you see a need, then let’s see if we can help!’ We began by picking up trash, returning lost lacrosse gear, and shoveling off playground equipment. Other service projects included shoveling off porch decks, prayer with neighbors, and small cleaning projects. In all, we enjoyed our time together even throwing snowballs but more importantly being available and ready to help our community.”
– Jason Platt, Trinity Church
Take your own group on a service adventure and see what a blessing you can be to your own communities!
• Lawn work tools: mower, hedger, clippers, etc.
• Trash bags (for picking up trash, leaves, etc.)
• Hammer and nails
• White paint (for graffiti or fences)
• Anything and everything else you can think of!
Everyone knows the feeling of walking into Goodwill or a thrift store and finding something for $1 that you don’t know how you ever lived without. But the truth is, millions of American families can only afford to shop at these used clothing and furniture stores.
Grab your group and head to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or thrift store and help organize, clean, and stock their racks so that they can better serve those in your community who rely on them for basic needs such as clothing. Just be sure to ask them first! Also, see if your group can bring some of their own excess clothing to donate.
You can even organize a “Thrifty Nifty Fashion Show” for after your service project. Ask your group members to bring $5 or less to spend, and see what kind of outfits they can pull together after they are finished helping out. Find a local park or head back to your facilities for a fashion show! Consider offering awards for “craziest,” “most original,” “cheapest,” and more.
emergency snack bags
Make sack lunches and deliver them to the ICU or ER waiting areas of your local hospital(s). It’s a great way to help those who are waiting for ill or injured loved ones and are unable leave. Lorna Roper posted this idea, suggesting that each bag be labeled with a comforting Bible passage and the name of your youth group.
If you have leftover bags, take them to a homeless shelter or mission or simply drive around town looking for people in need to offer them to.
• Paper lunch bags
• Sandwich makings
• Other lunch items such as granola bars, apples, cookies, etc.
service scavenger hunt
Divide your group into teams of about the same size. Assign an adult to each group for transportation and safety purposes. Give the groups a specific amount of time to go door-to-door in different neighborhoods and complete service projects. Designate a meeting place for the groups to go as soon as they finish all of their tasks or think that they have enough points to win.
When you knock on doors, explain that your group is doing the World Vision 30 Hour Famine to help feed hungry children around the world, and that you would love help with your fundraising efforts as well.
Suggested points rankings:
• Wash windows (1 point per window)
• Rake or mow a lawn (5-10 points)
• Weed a garden or flower plot (2-8 points)
• Sweep a porch or sidewalk (4 points)
• Clean mirrors (3 points)
• Read to a child (3 points)
• Take out trash or recycling (2 points)
• Dust furniture (2 points per room)
• Vacuum carpets (2 points per room)
• Other (1-10 points)
Make it a competition — whoever finishes their tasks the fastest or accumulates the most points wins and gets a two-liter of premium, extra tasty juice!
parks and recreation
Not the TV show, the real one! Call your local parks department and ask about any group volunteer action your students could get in on.
the amazingly trashy race
Need a worthwhile activity with minimal planning? Hold a contest to see which group of students can collect the most trash. Only junk found on the ground is fair game — no raiding trash cans. Be sure to take your youth to a safe area that could use a good cleanup. Winners could get a two-liter of premium, extra tasty juice.
Do minor repairs and cleaning at a local camp that serves kids . . . all in exchange for a venue for your Famine!
• Rakes, bags, cleaning supplies, and paint
canned food drive (Grub Hunt)
Split into teams. Each team has an hour to collect a specific list of canned foods by going door-to-door. Then take the donated food to the local food bank. Not sure what to put on your list? Call the local food bank and ask what they need most.
Optional: Give prizes to the team that collects the most items.
Two birds, one stone. Coordinate with another ministry in your church to hold their event the same time as your Famine—think all-church picnic, family event, or retreat. Your students are the muscle: servers, childcare providers, cleanup crew, etc. Satisfied attendees can “tip” (as they’re able) with a donation to the 30 Hour Famine.
fast with fashion
Split into teams. Each team has an hour to collect a specific list of clothing going door-to-door. Then take the donated clothes to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or homeless shelter. Not sure what to put on your list? Call your local thrift store and ask what they need most.
not-so-random acts of kindness
Descend on the house of someone who could use a hand (or twenty): the elderly, new parents, or those recovering from surgery. Cook them dinner, wash their car, do yard work, whatever they need. Divide into groups and tackle several households at once.
letters of encouragement
Set up stations with pictures of different soldiers and missionaries and write letters of encouragement to them. Coordinate with your church leadership to get these letters sent to the appropriate addresses.
• Tables, paper, pens, decorative stuff, stamps, envelopes, pictures of the people you’re writing to (optional)