Family Service Project – January – PACEM

This post is coming a little late but I didn’t get it to with Brian in Birmingham the end of last month. I am still committed to sharing this with you so here is is late.

Family Service Project posts will be shared here month. Our goal is to do at least on Family Service Project each month this year. We hope this inspires you to look in your neighborhood, church, community, or family and see where there is a need. We also hope this gets your family in a spirit of giving.

Why? Late last year, I had someone mention their child was having a hard time with the idea of getting gifts to give to another child. I asked the mom if they did other giving project during the year and she said no. Giving isn’t a one time a year event. It should be part of who you are we are hoping that this is a way to show our children that giving is part of every day here at out house. It doesn’t have to be fancy or cost a lot. It might be a meal. It might be chap-stick. It might be a shoe box. It is giving … giving of our time, our thoughts, our prayers, and our love.

For January, we participated in the efforts our church involved in the PACEM ministry. Local churches provide overnight shelter for homeless men from October – April to keep them out of the cold. The churches provide items of need to these men and meals in addition to shelter.

Serving dinner with PACEM Ministry

The Youth and Children’s Ministries hosted two dinners and we were able to be part of one of them. The girls made Fruit of the Spirit bags for the men as part of their Sunday School class. They loved finding their bags on the tables that night knowing someone was  going to take them.

Fruit of the Spirit Bags for PACEM Ministry

The kids had the opportunity to watch and help us prepare the food (pasta bake, rolls, and trifles). They helped carry the food into the church. They talked to the men as they ate.

Serving dinner with PACEM Ministry

We had several discussions around WANTS vs. NEEDS. When we asked ourr kids what we gave the men as part of the ministry that night and they start with dinner, backpacks (each man received a backpack), clothing (each man had the opportunity to pick out two clothing items), shelter, football (there was a game on that night) and then they throw out another answer … love … your heart melts. You know they got it!

Backpack distribution for PACEM Ministry

We feel blessed for the opportunity to part of this large community outreach effort in the month of January. It was a hands on experience for our kids. It was real. It was local. It left an impact on their little hearts. We are one month closer to our goal of at least one Family Service Project a month but I think we are just starting to see the impact this will have on us in the long run.

Some months this year we already know what we are going to do (November is Operation Christmas Child for sure!) but other months are unplanned and we will see where we can give. I admit that February is still open but I have an idea I am hoping we can share next week.

How can you or your family find ways to give this year? Leave us a comment and let us know!


  1. says

    That is really cool! So glad your children are seeing firsthand what giving can accomplish. There are way too many out there who are all about receiving and not enough out there who are able to give.

  2. says

    This is amazing. You are touching so many and your children are learning the very needed lesson of how fulfilling it is to give. God bless you!
    My boys and I volunteered at a food bank handing out food to the less fortunate for two years. We also give to a girls home through the church we attend. The kids really do learn valuable lessons.

  3. says

    This is wonderful. My own parents participated in soup outreaches back home as I was growing up. I will never forget the lessons I learned, watching my mother get up at 6 am to make soup and biscuits. Then my father would go out with the other men from the church and hand them out to homeless where ever they found them. I admired my parents so much and learned far more than hearing a lecture about giving to others.

  4. says

    This is such an important service you and your churches are providing. Sadly, so many of these men are former US service members who did not receive adequate treatment after combat service or have untreated mental illness. We as a society should be assisting them. Thankfully, someone is stepping up.

  5. says

    Better late than never, right? I am so glad you posted this! I hope it inspires more parents to do this with their families. I know it has inspired me! We gave to other children at Christmas but we really need to do more and more of it! Thank you for the inspiration.

  6. says

    Thanks for sharing your story, I always love getting inspiration from others giving back. I especially love the stories of those giving back year round instead of just the holidays.

  7. says

    Wow, what a great thing for you to all experience. I want to do something like this with my kids, I think it’s an important lesson for them to understand that some people don’t even have enough to eat while they play with their video games, iPods, TV, etc.

  8. says

    The girls and I do several service projects throughout the year. We used to do a lot of volunteering with our local animal shelter. The girls provided care for the animals and I provided professional photos to help these animals get adopted. We have also collected food for food banks, and organized lakeside cleanups. I am not sure what our projects this year will be yet.

  9. says

    That is such a great way to foster a sense of giving – I’m afraid we really only do things like this around the holidays – and I see your point about it needing to be year round.

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