People Take Action
Conduct a free yard sale.
Collect yard sale items, such as clothing, books, dishes, furniture, etc. and hold a free yard sale, either at your church or a location in a low-income area. Encourage a welcoming atmosphere by offering refreshments to shoppers. Advertise for the yard sale by posting flyers and signs in the community.
Host a block-party in a low-income urban area.
Plan a “block party” to celebrate the strengths of your community, facilitate community ownership and share the hospitality of Christ. Work with community members to plan events and arrange for food, music and other forms of entertainment. Invite community organizations to share important opportunities and resources for individuals in the area. Include games and activities for children of all ages!
Build or repair a community playground.
Raise awareness and support to build a playground for children with limited access to public play space. Work to identify and reserve a plot of land, draw out a plan and identify needed materials. Then work with a team to prepare the grounds, build a sandbox, basketball court or other open area, and work with contractors to install new play equipment. Celebrate the opening of the playground with a community-wide ceremony.
Create Caregiver Kits for developing countries.
Organize a small or large group to participate in an assembly-line production of handy kits for World Vision's caregiver network of almost 60,000 who care for chronically ill adults as well as orphans and vulnerable children in developing countries. Engage your community and use it as an opportunity to advocate organizations serving people living with HIV and AIDS and children orphaned because of AIDS.
Host a breakfast for local firefighters, police officers or other public servants.
Work with your local police or fire department to host a meal of appreciation. Invite community members to partner with you in preparing food and offering words of encouragement for those who serve your local safety needs.
Adopt a stretch of highway and help keep it clean.
Contact your state highway cleanup organization and volunteer to “adopt” a stretch of road in your community. Organize teams of volunteers to regularly pick up litter and maintain grassy areas near state roads.
Spruce up the grounds at a local school, park or nonprofit organization.
Together with the community, get your hands dirty and invest in the beauty of your neighborhood and of God’s earth. Work with a local park, school or other public area to spruce up the lawn, weed overgrown areas or plant new flowers.
Join with your community in assembling disaster relief kits.
Join with your community in assembling basic kits containing practical items for a family or individual who has lost their material goods in a disaster. Take time to pray for those affected and for volunteers and emergency workers who aid survivors.
Organize a community lawn clean-up.
Identify several areas of your local neighborhood that can benefit from a lawn clean-up. Receive permission from residents prior to your event, and take careful note of any restrictions or special instructions from homeowners. On the day of your event, break up into teams to rake leaves, mow grass, pick up litter and pull weeds. Take time to converse with neighbors, and leave notes of encouragement following your work. Make sure the team warmly invites them to church!
Host a quilting or knitting group and donate items to a needy cause.
Find skilled members of your congregation or community to lead regular quilting or knitting groups. Donate your finished products to an organization that provides blankets and clothing for children in need. Invite community members of all skill levels to participate, and use the time to establish friendships and support while helping others.
Contact your local shelter and volunteer to serve the homeless in your area.
Work with the volunteer coordinator at your local shelter or mission to find ways your congregation can help those who are homeless in your area. Establish one-time or ongoing service groups to collect items, organize goods, serve food, clean or spruce up the facilities. Consider the needs of the shelter and how they match the gifts of your group.
Clean up graffiti in your neighborhood.
Identify an area in your community that is tarnished by graffiti, and work with the local government and community organizations to clean up the graffiti and create a clean and respected environment.
Plant a community garden.
Designate an area for a community garden/pea patch. Allow members of the community to “adopt” plots of land to grow flowers, vegetables or fruit. Encourage the community to invest in the garden and to develop it into an area that the entire community can enjoy. Use the area to host community gardening classes and to connect with neighbors.
Host a free car wash with donations going to a needy charity.
Have a group from your church conduct a free car wash for the community. If individuals feel led to donate, let them know that their donations will not be used by your church or group but will instead be given to a needy local, national or international charity chosen by your congregation.
Grocery shop for the elderly in your community.
Shop for groceries and deliver them right to the doorsteps of elderly members of your community. Collect grocery lists beforehand so you know what to purchase. Contact your community’s senior center or ask the elderly within your congregation for a list of elderly people within your community.
Host a free car check-up and oil change.
Set up a car check-up station at your church or another location in your community to reach out to your neighbors in a practical way. Check car fluids and tire pressure and change the oil. Conduct a car wash and make the cars look glamorous on the outside, too.
Paint a mural for a local organization or public park.
Identify a public wall or area that would benefit from artwork. Develop an appropriate theme, and commission individuals in your church and community to submit artwork for review. Select a final design, and have the community (along with children) prepare the site by sanding, washing and priming the area. Once the artist has completed a clear outline of the design, select volunteers to assist in painting the mural. Celebrate the completion of the mural with a public ceremony for the community.
Conduct a computer drive.
Collect used computers and donate them to a nonprofit organization, such as Goodwill Industries, that refurbishes them and donates or resells them to those who may be unable to afford a brand-new computer. Advertise for and host a computer drop-off event to collect used computers from members of your community. Contact electronics stores, local businesses and schools for donations as well.
Host arts and crafts classes with community children.
Volunteer with a local childcare facility to teach simple arts and crafts projects to children. Identify a needed list of supplies, a lead teacher and additional volunteers. Build relationships with children while giving child workers a chance to relax!
Volunteer with a local food bank.
Coordinate with a local food bank to host a food drive, transport donations, re-package food or assist with administrative tasks. Invite the community to participate with you, and include an opportunity to learn about hunger in America and around the world.
With gas prices skyrocketing, everyone in your community needs help filling up the tank. Lend a helping hand by subsidizing gas purchases and lower the cost by $.10 or $.25 per gallon, or hand-out free gas cards. Bring a team of volunteers to pump gas, wash the car windows and pass out bottled water and treats to drivers.