Children naturally like to help others, but, like adults, they do not always know how to help others. That is where you as a leader come in. You can work with the children in your church, giving them some direction and providing tools to help them make informed decisions about who to help and how
It is likely your children will hear about devastation in different areas around the world. This is an ideal time to help children know how they can best help during times of disaster.
Children will see commercials or announcements about giving money. That’s easier for adults, but children want to know that they helped people during such times. Why not talk with your children about ways they could have a fundraiser, then donate the money to Nazarene Compassionate Ministries. Let them help in the decision-making, organizing, and implementing of a fund-raising event.
Gifts are a great way for children to learn how they can help. They know how they feel when they receive gifts, so giving something to someone who needs help just makes sense. It helps if they can give items that they enjoy or use, such as the items in a School Pal-Pak or Crisis Care Kit (CCK). For the inventories and instructions for each, visit these pages on the NMI Web site:
- Crisis Care Kits—Instructions for kits vary depending on the country the kits are being sent from. Be sure you select “U.S.A.” or “Canada” instructions.
- School Pal-Paks—School Pal-Paks are only received at the Fawn Grove Compassion Center.
We would issue a word of caution: do not send anything unless you are sure it is needed. Before asking children to bring the items in, ask the missionary or organization where you plan to send items what they need that your children could send. (Generally, if you stress that yours is a children’s group, the leaders will keep that in mind when looking at their lists.) This is also true if an item is listed on your LINKS missionary’s “wish” list; it could be that several churches have sent that item already.
The compassionate ministries warehouses have lists of items they need that your children could gather or raise funds to help purchase (sometimes items such as toys are needed). To determine the warehouses’ needs, visit their Web sites:
- Fawn Grove Compassion Center
- Hands of Hope Northwest
Often the Web sites include instructions on how such items are to be packed and sent. Please pay careful attention to such instructions. Sometimes requests go out for blankets or afghans. Fleece Tie Blankets are inexpensive and easy-to-assemble for children (either on their own or with some assistance, depending on the children’s ages). See the instructions in the sidebar on this page.
Throughout the whole process, pray for the children of your church. Ask for direction about how to help the children understand that their efforts are important in helping others. Pray that their hearts will continue to be tender toward others as they grow and that their involvement in these activities will speak to their families and your church.
Gail Sawrie and Yvette Bourne