Spot the Heroes
When you are out driving or shopping, see if your children can spot a community helper. Can they name some of the work the person might do and how they help us? For young children, let them dress up in costumes of these heroes and heroines. For older children, teach them first aid and basic rescue techniques. Be sure your children know when and how to call for help.
Fill an album or wall to honor heroes in your family. Put up photos or loved one in uniform and a description of what they do.
See if your children can interview a first responder and write about the person. They can ask questions about why they chose to serve, what dangers they have faced, and how they stay in shape for their work. Write it up and share it. You can even submit to your community paper or see if a local store will display it to show gratitude.
Appreciate Those Who Serve
September is First Responder and Military Appreciation Month. That’s a great time to show you value those individuals. Find out if someone in your neighborhood or church is a first responder of in the military. If so, make an appreciation kit to give those servants. Send a thank you card with a gift card to a local grocery store so they can buy snacks for the unit.
In your home, fill a dish with lifesavers to offer guests to enjoy and as a reminder to pray for the people who serve. Send Christmas cards and appreciation cards to those who serve. Writing a note helps children remember to thank people and be grateful.
Foster Service Attitudes and Hearts
Help you children follow the example of those who serve us. Help them think of ways to put other people first and to pray for people around them. Teach them compassion by being empathetic when they are hurt and show them how to stop bleeding and bandage cuts.
My oldest daughter accompanied her dad to help her brother when he had an accident and his thumb was bleeding. He dropped them off at the emergency room door of the military hospital and parked the car. She walked in holding her brother’s arm and spoke softly to him. The medic pointed said, “At last someone came in knowing how to care for a bleeding patient and she’s just a child.”
He asked her how she knew what do. She replied that she was told to press hard and hold her brother’s hand above his head. He applauded her for listening. It’s no surprise that she’s a disaster case worker. When we teach compassion, our children develop servant hearts.
Follow the Best Examples
Read scriptures related to serving others and respecting those who serve. Include Romans 13:1-7 and John 15:13. Read about healings in the Bible, Jesus washing the feet of his disciples (John 13), and how Jesus fed a huge crowd because he had compassion for their hunger (John 5).
Discuss ways you can serve one another and help neighbors and friends. Volunteer in your church and community. This might be making sandwiches for the homeless, donating clothes or food, and picking up litter. Any way you serve, you will help people or creatures God made.
Thankfulness and putting others first are choices people make. We encourage a servant attitude with stories of real people who serve others with love and kindness. We can inspire our children through our example and praising them when they help someone, when they help someone, show love, and display other attributes of real heroes.
Karen Whiting, widow of a Coast Guard Officer, grew up surrounded by family members who served. He newest of twenty-six books, 52 Weekly Devotions for Families Called to Serve, helps children develop servant hearts and shares stories of heroes and volunteers among us.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Jay Heike