Looking for a great service project for your students that can have meaningful ties to your Bible lessons? Thanksgiving In A Box is a great one which can be done in conjunction with studies of Ruth, Abraham (and his “angels unaware”), Susannah and Joanna and many other Bible stories.
In our congregation’s Esther Girls class this coming Sunday, for example, we will study Susannah and Joanna. Mentioned in the Bible only briefly, they played an important role in the ministry of Jesus. (Luke 8:3)
We will discuss the ways those women might have been able to have money to meet their expenses and still be able to help support the ministry of Jesus and his Apostles. In that context, we will teach them the Christian Life Skills of good stewardship like budgeting, couponing, searching ads and more as a way of having more money available in their eventual budgets to give money to God.
We plan to divide the girls into small groups and give them a list of items and a budget. Armed with ads and coupons, each team will try to buy as many items as possible with the money they are given. (Our missions committee is supplying the funds. They usually do this to supplement member food boxes, so we are also helping take something off of their plate – double service!)
Our congregation has done this for years and has found that a smaller box serving 2-3 people works best. Boxes that are larger are much more difficult to manage on mass transit and to carry long distances or up flights of stairs. Each box contains the following items designed to provide Thanksgiving meals for the family and actually probably a bit more.
Items For Thanksgiving In A Box:
- 2 cans green vegetables
- 2 cans yellow vegetables
- 2 cans or 1 bag beans
- 2 cans tomatoes
- 2 cans fruit
- 2 cans soup
- canned ham or turkey (non-refrigerated)
- 1 box instant potatoes
- 1 bag pasta or rice
- 1 package of stuffing mix
- 1 can cranberry sauce
- 1 box dessert mix which only needs water added
- 1 box bread mix which only needs water added
- 1 can evaporated or box of milk
- 1 box of cereal or oatmeal
Banana boxes from the grocery store work well. Our local stores often donate boxes to us. You might even find a store manager that will help you purchase the food in some way with an added discount or donations.
If at all possible, have your students help deliver some of the boxes to the church who will give them out or help man the service where they are distributed. That extra connection to the recipients will make the experience more meaningful to them.
Putting scriptures into action and impacting the lives of others makes your lesson more hands-on, experiential, meaningful and memorable for your students. It is worth the extra time and effort it may take.