For years we used the Sunday before Thanksgiving as a missions opportunity for our  kids.  It was a combination of a “bring stuff” project and a “go and do” project.  Kids brought items to fill baskets for senior adults.  They brought in kleenex, hard candy, snacks, toothpaste, shampoos, lotions, etc…  They also made cards that told the recipients that Jesus loved them.  During small group time, groups filled as many baskets as they could. After church, kids and small group leaders gathered back for a pizza lunch.

First and second grade small groups were given addresses for shut-ins connected with our church.  These were usually a little less intimidating for the little guys.  The small groups took baskets to the senior adults houses, told them Jesus loved them, and wished them a happy Thanksgiving.  We divided the 3rd-5th grade groups up among three local nursing homes.  These small groups took as many baskets as they could carry and delivered them to each room at each nursing home.

The kids really got to see how this simple act brought joy to so many of the senior adults.

I loved that this project got kids out of their comfort zones as they got to share God’s love, but it was still a safe environment.  I also liked that small group leaders got to do this with their kids.  This could also very easily be turned into a family project instead of just a small group driven project.