The Search Institute has identified Service to Others as one of the 40 Developmental Assets that young people need to succeed. Service to others, in addition to helping better your community, can help young people feel empowered and valuable.
While many of us contribute to service activities around the winter holidays, participation often drops off in the new year. However, there are plenty of ways to serve others at all times…even while socially distancing. Here are a few ideas that the whole family can get involved in:
- Write thank you notes to the essential workers who served you during the pandemic, like waste collectors, postal carriers, cashiers, teachers, or nurses.
- Draw chalk pictures and encouraging notes on the sidewalks or parking lots of senior living facilities.
- Bake homemade treats for animals in shelters.
- Pick up litter around your neighborhood.
- Donate to a food pantry.
You can find more resources about Illinois 4-H service projects in this Spark Sheet or at 4h.extension.illinois.edu/clubs/community-service-resources.
Lancaster County with University of Nebraska Extension has a great list of service ideas for any interest at lancaster.unl.edu/4h/CommunityServiceIdeas.pdf.