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Nurture compassionate hearts by teaching children about the importance of helping the community through direct acts of service. 

By Gabby Thuillier

Teaching children the value of community service is more important than ever. Community service not only benefits the recipients but also has a profound impact on the children themselves. It instills empathy and gratitude while fostering a deeper connection to the world around them.  

When parents, educators, and caregivers introduce children to the world of community service, we empower them to become compassionate and responsible citizens who actively work towards making the world a better place.  

Let’s explore why community service is invaluable for children. 

Connecting with Diverse Groups 

Community service often brings children into contact with people from diverse backgrounds and circumstances. This exposure helps break down stereotypes and prejudices, fostering a more inclusive and compassionate society. Children learn that we are all part of the same human family, regardless of our differences. 

Developing Empathy 

One of the most significant values of engaging children in community service is that it helps them develop empathy. When kids actively participate in helping others, they begin to understand the challenges faced by those less fortunate. This firsthand experience can be eye-opening, allowing children to see the world through different perspectives. 

Cultivating Gratitude 

When children see the challenges faced by others, they develop a deeper sense of gratitude for what they have. They are more likely to appreciate their family, friends, and the resources available to them. This gratitude can lead to a more positive and contented outlook on life. 

Promoting Civic Engagement 

By engaging in community service from a young age, children are more likely to become active and engaged citizens as adults. They understand the importance of participating in their communities and advocating for positive change. This early exposure can set the stage for a lifetime of civic involvement. 

4 Ways For Children to Get Involved Right Now

We’ve compiled a list of ways students of all ages can get involved with their community and support Blanchet House. If you live outside of the Portland area please check with your local homeless shelter or charity food provider to ask if you can help out in one of the following ways.

1. Make Sack Lunches 

Good activity for elementary and middle school students.

Children may be used to having a lunch packed for them when they go to school. With this activity, they can do something meaningful by packing lunches for someone in need. Contact your local soup kitchen to ask if you can donate sack lunches. At Blanchet House, we offer sack lunches to take with you after enjoying a hot meal. 



Decorate the sack lunch bags with colorful pictures or positive messages. Our guests love it, and the activity is a great way for younger children to connect with those experiencing homelessness. 


Learn How

2. Make Care Kits 

Good activity for middle and high school students. 

Care kits are plastic bags that contain basic hygiene items and other essential items. Taking the time to pack kits offers students an opportunity to reflect on what privileges they may take for granted, such as access to a shower and clean socks. Contact your local homeless shelter to ask if you can donate care kits.


Hold a care kit item drive at school or in your neighborhood 

Learn How

3. Collect Refundable Cans and Bottles  

Good activity for elementary, middle, and high school students. 

Blanchet House is an Oregon BottleDrop Give partner which means anyone can collect refundable cans and bottles to help raise funds for our services. Simply pick up blue bags Mon-Sat, 8-10:30 a.m. or 1:30-4:00 p.m., at Blanchet House. Collect empty OR-10 bottles and cans. Drop off the bag at a BottleDrop Give location. 

Blue Bag Fundraiser


 Turn collecting the cans and bottles into a fun math project! Before dropping off the full bags, task children with counting the total number of items collected to figure out how much money Blanchet House earns. Each bottle or can is worth $0.10).  

Learn How

4. Volunteer at Blanchet House 

Good activity for children ages 14 years old and up.

Students see the positive impact they can have on the lives of others through a direct service opportunity that teaches responsibility and accountability. They are also more likely to continue the tradition of giving back as they grow up, perpetuating a cycle of community involvement and generosity. 

Students volunteering at Blanchet House

Learn how

Together we can nurture the compassionate hearts of the next generation. Questions about service-learning opportunities can be sent to Gabby Thuillier at 

This article was written with assistance from ChatGPT. 


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