Good Things

Car Window Wash

Go to a local friendly Bank get permission from the bank staff to wash automobile windows of customers as they come through the drive thru, wear name tags with the church or youth group you represent. Everyone likes somet’s reactions.

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Reverse Shopping List – Food Pantry

Get permission from local grocer to set up a table near their entrance. Check with local food pantry/food bank to see what items they need the most of. (Ours was cereal, peanut butter, box dinners, tuna, etc.) Print a ‘shopping list’ with a brief explanation of what you are doing and the items most needed. Have students ask shoppers as they enter to consider picking an item or two off your list to support the food pantry and drop it off at the table on the way out. We did this on a Saturday. Five students, four hours, over 450 food items and cash donations of nearly $100.

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Passing Postage

Go to the post office, pay for a stamp, and ask the postmaster to give it to the next person who comes to buy a single stamp. I’ve done this before and asked the next day what the reaction was. Sometimes it has made someone’s day. Other times the person then pays for another stamp and passes it on. A lot of joy for 32 cents.

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Change for Good

Have the kids start collecting their or their family’s spare change in a can or something. During youth outings, etc gather up the spare change & give to the many ideas listed here — like “Pay People’s Parking”, “Free Lunch”, etc.

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Put Down Potty

Our group uses this to decrease negative comments towards other teens. When a teen makes a negative comment about another teen they must either: Pay 50 cents to the put down potty or they must write something nice/positive about the person and put it in the potty. The potty is an actual (brand new) child’s potty that you use to potty train them with. The kids loved this idea and it really caught on. The number of negative comments has greatly decreased because they are “catching themselves
when they say something negative.

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Mall Ministry

We took our youth group to the mall. We divided into groups of 2 or 3. The students asked random people (the store clerk etc) if they have anything they’d like prayer for. We explain that we’ll be meeting later for prayer with our group. Most people give a request and some allow us to pray for them on the spot! We met back at the food court and prayed for the requests. The kids got a bonus confidence booster because they were nervous at first but realized they could do it.

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Doggie Dish

At your next bazaar, carnival or booth at a fair have a big bowl of fresh water for any dogs who may be walking their owners that day. (The owners will appreciate the thought too!)

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Warm Encouragments

Get a big brown shopping bag and attach it to the wall in view of everyone. Pre-decorate the front with Christian symbols of Lent or the appropriate season in which you are having your meeting. Place pencils and index cards on a small table close to the bag. As each youth enters have them write their name on a piece of paper and place it in a bowl. After EVERYONE has placed his/her name have them pick out a name from the bowl. If they pick their own name have them put it back and re-draw a name. The purpose is to have all students write something nice about someone in the room for that day. It can be a word of encouragement, praise or other good thought of how they can help each other during their Lenten journey or any other time and that they will be there for that person. Make sure the name of the Receiver is on the front of the card and the Giver’s is at the bottom of the message.

Then an hour or two before the meeting/retreat is over have an adult helper take down the bag and go over the cards to see if every one has a card. Have the Adult helper use a low temp glue gun and have them glue a candy bar or a “Hug or Kiss candy to the card. Then have the students pick up their cards and give a them few moments to read and feel the encouragement of their peers and have them talk out their feelings.

Word of caution: Make sure EVERONE has a card!

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Nursing Home Visitation

Have the youth in grades 5-12 meet at the church on a Wednesday night. Have the youth bring in soaps, lotions, and shampoos to give to the elderly. Then go to a local nursing home. All the elderly really appriciate this act of kindness. It really makes the youth feel good about themselves while helping others.

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Valentine Cookie Care

Our youth group got together and baked heart shaped sugar cookies and then we delivered a dozen cookies each to each person over 80 in our church with a nice Valentine card. This can be done anytime.

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