Add God's Love to World Kindness Day
By: Lee Larsen
In preparation for World Kindness Day on November 13, we at Acts 1:8 Ministry want to encourage you to add God's love and the Gospel message to your acts of kindness. Let's start a revolution of #ChristianKindness!
Below is a fun list of 25 Planned Acts of Christian Kindness® (P.A.C.K.®) ideas that you can do with your church group. Spread the love and pass this list on...
1. Coffee Giveaway
Use either Igloo containers or air pump thermoses to store the coffee and keep it hot. Offer three options: regular, decaf, and hot chocolate. On a cool day, you will have folks swarming for a cup of something hot. You will need three or four people to help give away coffee for each big canister. With each drink, give a Christian Kindness Card. Consider having paper cups with your church’s name and contact information.
2. Newspaper Giveaway
Some convenience stores will allow you to purchase an entire stack of newspapers. Place a sign on the top of the stack that reads, "Free Newspapers – Courtesy of (Church Name)" and attach a Christian Kindness Card to each paper with removable adhesive.
3. Soda Giveaway
"Hi, would you like regular or diet?" This is a standard opening to bless folks with a small act of Christian Kindness. And it works! Set up at a busy grocery store entrance (be sure to ask the store manager ahead of time for permission) with large coolers filled with ice and drinks. Buy name-brand drinks instead of the cheaper brands, and place a Christian Kindness Card under the soda can tab. You could also giveaway bottled water, rather than soda.
4. Candy Giveaway
If you are looking for an affordable giveaway for a large number of people, consider this one! Purchase the candy in bulk at a warehouse store. Attach a Christian Kindness Card and give out the candy to passersby. Consider printing your Christian Kindness message onto mailing labels and stick them on top of the candy wrappers.
Either make bags of popcorn before you arrive to your outreach site or consider renting/purchasing your own carnival style popcorn machine and make the popcorn right there. You will certainly draw more of a crowd with the machine. Include a Christian Kindness Card with each bag of popcorn that you give away.
6. Umbrella Escorts
Use large golf umbrellas to help people to their cars with as little wetness as possible. On your way to the car, explain that you are doing this as a Planned Act of Christian Kindness® and hand them a Christian Kindness Card. They will remember your kindness for years to come!
7. Grocery Bag Loading Assistance
Moms with kids hanging on them like koala bears need assistance loading their grocery bags into their cars. The elderly need the same sort of help. Volunteers need to appear safe and friendly - name tags and/or coordinating t-shirts identifying your organization makes everyone look more “official.” Be sure to give a Christian Kindness Card to each person you help (it's helpful for each volunteer to keep several Christian Kindness Cards in their pocket). this project may require prior permission from the store manager.
Note: On this project, almost everyone will try to give a tip. But as with all kindness projects, receiving money would taint what you are trying to communicate: "God’s love is free, just like this service."
8. Grocery Bagging
Increasing numbers of grocery stores are cutting back their grocery bagging services. Place volunteers at these stores to pack bags for customers. Name tags and/or coordinating t-shirts help the baggers look more official and identifies your organization. The first time we volunteered to do this, the store manager was skeptical, but the feeling quickly melted. We've received reports from all over the USA that this project is very effective! Many people will ask why you are doing this, so be sure that all of your volunteers express that your group is sharing God's love in a practical way.
9. Shoe Shines
Small investment + elbow grease = big return. Set up in front of a grocery store or barbershop on a Saturday. This is a great project to start conversations with people. Remember, you have a captive audience while you serve! Give each shoe shine recipient a Christian Kindness Card.
10. Restroom Cleaning
There's nothing like walking into a gas station, restaurant, or retail store and saying to the manager, "We'd like to clean your toilet for free!" Put a little cleaning kit together containing a toilet brush, air freshener, window cleaner, paper towels, toilet bowl cleaner, rubber gloves, and a doorstop. There's nothing magical about the technique here. Commodes all over the world are pretty much the same as the ones in your home.
Note: This is probably one of the most frequently rejected projects we do, probably because the offer to clean a toilet is a bit overwhelming. No matter—give them your Christian Kindness Card, smile, and say, “OK! We'll come back some other time and clean when you need it. We're just trying to show you God’s love in a practical way.”
11. Business Blasts
Surprise employees of local businesses with a small gift, such as a basket of candy. Bring in one package to be shared by store employees. Insert a Christian Kindness Card with a note that reads something like, “We appreciate how you serve the community with your business, and we wanted to share God's love in a fun way.” in the basket. Make sure you only give items to employees, so they don't think you are soliciting their customers.
12. Stamps Giveaway
One of our partner churches holds a major outreach event each year where they giveaway stamps, coffee, and donuts. Volunteers stand by the mail drop-off boxes with a card table filled with stamps and snacks. Each recipient gets a few stamps, a snack, and a Christian Kindness Card.
13. Fireplace Kindling Giveaway
Bundle up scrap wood and go door-to-door giving away the bundles.. Attach a Christian Kindness Card to the bundles. This is a great project in fall as the weather is getting chilly.
14. Pay Laundromat Fees
Bring rolls of quarters to a local laundromat. As patrons enter, ask them if they'd like hot or cold wash and plug their washing machines with quarters. You can also provide detergent and give the patrons enough quarters to dry their loads of laundry. Remember to give each person a Christian Kindness Card to ensure that God's message of free love and grace is being passed on.
15. Gasoline for Your Neighbor
How many people do you see buying less than a tank of gas when you fill your car up? We see it happening all the time—they can’t afford a full tank of gas at today’s prices. Add $5 to their total and blow their minds. Of course, add a Christian Kindness Card.
16. Surf & Turf for Firefighters
Since 9/11, the general public has been made even more aware of the tremendous job that firefighters and police officers do day in and day out. Show them a little kindness by providing some steaks or salmon to grill. Let them know in advance that you are coming, so that they have the grill fired up. Firefighters are a great group to serve! When you bring the food, be sure to bring some Christian Kindness Cards to leave with them too!
17. Quarter Drop
Here's a fun outreach that will surely make peoples' day extra sweet! Go to your local shopping mall and tape see-through bags with quarters and Christian Kindness Cards on vending machines.
18. Gas Buy Down
Buy down the price of gas to a remarkable rate for a couple of hours and pay the difference to the gas station owner. When local prices were $1.29 per gallon, we put up signs advertising the price of $0.99. When customers came in, we give them a Christian Kindness Card. We spent two hours at the gas station and paid $400-$500 each time. Each time we've done this Planned Acts of Christian Kindness® (P.A.C.K.®) event, we have received fantastic responses!
19. Purchase Meals at the Food Court
One small group meets regularly at their local shopping mall and takes a spontaneous offering among themselves. Then, they approach one of the managers of a fast-food restaurant or a food court stand and offer, "We'd like to pay the bill for as many customers as this amount of money will pay for." On one recent outreach, this group paid for $125 worth of food—that was about one hour’s worth of sales. The manager became so excited, he began sharing the Gospel to his customers, even though he was a burned-out church attendee. Remember to leave a few Christian Kindness Cards with the manager or employees.
"We came, we saw, we raked!" Several people can rake an entire neighborhood on a single Saturday morning. Maybe you don't like raking your own yard, but when you're with a group of friends serving in the name of Christ, a chore quickly becomes a joy. Many yards take only 15-20 minutes to rake. If you encounter the homeowners, explain why you're doing this and give them a Christian Kindness Card. If you don't encounter the homeowners, leave them a note and Christian Kindness Card on their front door.
Note: If you bag the leaves, make sure to remove the bags and dispose of them yourself instead of leaving them for the homeowners.
21. Sidewalk Sweeping
Sidewalk sweeping is a huge hit in urban areas. Residents are sometimes required by neighborhood associations or city codes to sweep the area in front of their homes. Remember to hand out Christian Kindness Cards to the neighbors!
22. Garbage Can Return
This is a fun project that you can do for an entire street or neighborhood depending on the size of your group. Usually garbage pick-up is done early in the morning, so be the first one out. Return the garbage cans to a place near each home's garage (but do it quietly!). Tape a Christian Kindness Card to the lid of each can.
23. Door-to-Door Carnation Giveaway
Carnations are affordable and everyone likes receiving flowers. Go door-to-door giving away carnations and Christian Kindness Cards. This is a fun and easy way to brighten peoples' day!
24. Fruit Giveaway
I was surprised at the popularity of this one. People really like fresh fruit and they will readily take it! This one goes over great across the USA. Go door-to-door giving away an orange, apple, and banana along with a Christian Kindness Card in a clear plastic bag.
25. Care Package Giveaway
Prepare and give away care packages for an entire dorm. Include items, such as hot chocolate packages, microwave popcorn, cookies, mints, and gum (be sure to slip a Christian Kindness Card in each package!). These can be distributed through student mailboxes or a box in the lobby. Be sure to get permission from the dorm first.
Remember to always give a Christian Kindness Card whenever you do Christian Kindness. This leaves people with a lasting reminder of God's love and grace. Your group can even customize the cards with a special message and your church's worship time and contact information. This is a great way to warmly welcome people to your church.
Lee Larsen is the Ministry Coordinator at Acts 1:8 Ministry®. Lee's strongest and most personal blessing comes from the many “God Moments” that are created through Acts 1:8 Ministry's Christian Kindness outreach; a vivid reminder that our Lord and Savior is right beside us. Learn more about Christian Kindness.