This year for Vacation Bible School our church did a little something different. Since I'm always on the lookout for new ministry ideas, I figure there might be someone out there that could benefit from hearing what we did.
Instead of crafts this year our kids did outreach activities. Grades 1-6 participated in four activities that will benefit someone else. Our VBS theme was "What's in it for me?"...and obviously we were trying to get them to think of others instead of themselves.
Here's what we did:
Monday: The kids wrapped and boxed 2500 water bottles. We printed labels with the church information...times, programs, contact information... And plan to pass them out at a local July 4th event in our community. We finished nearly 1800 on Monday and completed the rest on Thursday. We boxed them up and took them to a man in our church who has a refrigerated truck and he's cooling them down for us before the event.
Tuesday: We painted a clay flowerpot and planted flowers in each one. The kids were challenged to give there potted plant to a neighbor, elderly person or someone who might be lonely. We heard at least a dozen reports at how people were touched by this act of kindness. Our local Lowe's ordered the pots in bulk for us, so if you need an abundance you might check to see your local stores supply ahead of time.
Wednesday: A few weeks before VBS we started collecting sample/hotel size shampoos, toothpastes, body washes, lotions, conditioners and wash clothes. A local dentist donated several hundred toothbrushes. And we used ziplock bags to assemble 1400 hygiene bags. We donated these to the local pregnancy center, our church food pantry and our local hospital.
Thursday: We closed the week out by purchasing enough fleece to make 30 fleece tie blankets. We bought various colors and patterns to appeal to boys, girls and adults. We donated these to Home Health Care who will distribute them this fall as the weather gets cooler.
The great thing about these outreach activities is that the kids understood the correlation with the lesson time and the activities and had a greater understanding of focusing on others rather than themselves. It was a great week!