Service day
(by Jan )

We focused on demonstrating different types of service

Our goal was to get them thinking about different types of service and how they could provide service everyday in one way or another.

  1. We had it on the same day that our stake was doing a food drive and we asked that each child each bring in at least one nonperishable food item. We then gathered them around the collection and explained that the food was going to be donated to a local homeless kitchen...that there are people and children that don't have enough money for food.  We tried to make it "real" so it wasn't just a food drop.  So they knew it was going to help people living close by that went hungry.
  2. We had a station where the kids wrote cards to our missionaries.  We talked about how missionaries are serving God and the Church.  We talked about how writing to the missionaries was supporting their service to God and the Church.  If we had had more time, we would have done something for the building as a service to Church ~  plant flowers, pick up litter, straighten hymn books/clean pews etc.
  3. Country.  They were all aware of the war that had just started.  We talked about how men and women were serving their country.  We made a banner (large muslin, grommets) where they put there handprints in red and blue around the edges with fingerpaint.  We wrote a message to our troops. Transferred on two photos -- group shots of the kids, and mailed it off to a local unit. You could also talk about what "being a good citizen" is and doing something as an example (e.g., picking up litter nearby).  We had them make Easter cards for local nursing home patients (you could have the Sr kids write the letters to the missionaries and the younger ones do the cards ~ all at the same time)
  4. Family - we talked about how serving our family is not only doing what is expected of us, like our chores but doing "extra" things for others.  We had the kids raise their hands and tell how they had done something recently for their family or friends.
  5. We taught them and sang the "Give Little River" song.

We wanted to keep an emphasis on service through out the year, so we made a "Service Rainbow" chart on poster board.  Each stripe of the rainbow is made up of little uncolored blocks.  During opening/closing exercises each week we invite a few kids to describe some sort of service they've done during the past week.  We emphasize it has to be something "extra" that they don't usually do or are expected to do.  Those kids then color in one of the small blocks in one of the stripes (so the rainbow keeps it's colors right).  The rainbow ends in a pot of gold.  When the rainbow reaches the pot of gold, we'll have a special treat (don't know what yet).  We'll emphasize then that service isn't about the "goodies" (the pot of gold) but about serving God by serving others. We explained how the chart worked at the Activity day and had some of the kids start it off when they shared a service they had done.

The "service rainbow" was something that one of our Primary Counselors remembers from her Primary days with fond memories.  So we knew it "worked". It has been a good thing too.  It gives us a chance to let the kids "live" service by sharing and then we reframe what they say and emphasize why it is (or isn't) service.