Mother’s Day Carnation Giveaway by Janie Sjogren

mothersdaySome people forget or wait until the last moment to get Mom a flower or card. Flowers can be expensive when purchased at the store individually, but they can be purchased for less than fifty cents per flower in bulk. Your group can probably explain to a local supermarket florist what you are trying to do with your outreach. Given enough advance notice, he or she can order a quantity of carnations and pass the discounted price on to you.

Attach to each flower an outreach connect card and a ribbon. As with a soft-drink or water giveaway, if your’e doing this at a grocery store (where we usually locate), situate yourself by the entrance, not the exit. You’ll want 5+ people per team.

Another version of this is the Secretaries Day or Sweetest Day flower giveaway with a blank card for the giver to write his or her sentients on as a greeting.

Of course, don’t give away flowers near a flower vendor.

Where To Go:

  • Campuses
  • Parks
  • Neighborhoods
  • Sporting Events
  • Downtown
  • Commuters
  • Shopping Centers

What You’ll Need

  • Carnations
  • Ribbons
  • Outreach Connect Cards like those below

 Mother's Day Connect Card

 Mother's Day Connect Card

 Mother's Day Connect Card

3 Great Outreach Projects For Spring by Janie Sjogren

Spring is here and this season is a great opportunity to reach out to your community and show them God’s love in practical ways.

Here are three great outreach projects that are perfect for spring:

1. Free Car Wash

This is an effective, practical service. We offer a car wash every week in the summer. Have a professionally made banner or sign that says “Totally Free Car Wash!” or “Free – No Kidding – Car Wash!” Have a few people who are not shy, cheerfully yell at cars driving by – “Free Car Wash!” Former cheerleaders are great for this role! This outreach needs a good project manager to organize volunteers, car flow and ensure a quality job.

Purchase high quality car wash soap and do a thorough job – scrub the tires and dry the car. Your hard work will speak volumes about God’s love!

Materials:

  • Connection Cards
  • Free Car Wash Signs
  • Hoses and nozzles
  • Water Source (important!)
  • Buckets
  • Car Wash Soap
  • Squeegee
  • Tire brushes
  • Towels/Chamois Cloth

Team Size: 8+

Outreach Cost: Inexpensive

Child-friendly: Yes, it’s great fun for kids, but they must be well supervised

 

2. General Yard Cleanup

After the winter weather is over, all sorts of debris become obvious. Go door to door with gloves, rakes, and trash bags.

Materials:

Team Size: 2+

Outreach Cost: Free / inexpensive

Child-friendly: No

 

3. Bottled Water Giveaway

Many people prefer water to soft drinks. Ice down bottles of water in Igloo coolers for an alternative to Coke giveaways. Use the same drink connection cards. We don’t recommend combining this with a soda giveaway because it offers too many options and gets complicated. You can do this anywhere there are a lot of people gathered.

Materials:

Team Size: 3+

Outreach Cost: Moderate

Child-friendly: No

 

Don’t forget to give out outreach connect cards during your spring outreaches. If you need high-quality outreach cards, you can click on any of the links above to see the great selection of designs we offer, or simply go to this link below:

http://www.kindnessresources.com/Outreach-Cards-C10.aspx

Keep walking in the outflow!

4 Warm Weather Outreach Ideas by Janie Sjogren

It’s getting warmer and this changes what we can do to show love to our communities.  Take a look at your supply closet, and do some spring-cleaning to freshen everything up.  The typical toilet-cleaning kits and windshield washing supplies are a start, but add some more spark to your outreaches with a good variety of options at the ready. Here are four outreach ideas for warmer weather.

Put A Twist On The Typical Car Wash – Make It a $1 Car Wash

Get big banners that read, “Free Car Wash—No Kidding!” or “$1 Car Wash!”  In the $1 Car Wash version, you give the person $1 after washing their car, with a connect card explaining why you are doing this, “This is a simple way to say God loves you, no strings attached!”

Set up on a street that has significant traffic flow, with water access and an easy entrance and exit. Use soccer cones to direct traffic where you want it.  Create an inviting sitting area with soccer chairs and iced down drinks in a cooler.

Place several high-energy, cheerleader types on corners near your site.  Tell them to shake their signs, wave their hands and generally direct people into the car wash.

Make sure to have friendly people to greet the drivers, and to talk to people.  Don’t get so busy washing that you forget to pass out a card and an explanation that you are doing this as a community service project to show them a little of God’s love.

Put Your Coolers To Work!

Rolling coolers are great for water and pop outreaches.  If your church can afford one, get a large Ice Maker to always have ice at the ready.  Coolers also work well to transport hot dogs and hamburgers wrapped in fast-food foil wrappers.  The cooler acts like a steamer, and the goods arrive warm.   Offer with individually wrapped condiments, and deliver around 11am while people are still hungry.

Ice Cream Coupon Give-Away

Ice cream is a happy food!  Buy a quantity of ice cream coupons at a discount.  Connect with your local ice cream shop, or with McDonald’s or Chick-Fil-A.  Explain that you are doing, a community service project, and that you plan on giving the ice cream coupons away.

Places to go include campuses, parks, neighborhoods, sporting events, and skate parks.  Give out a Connection Card with each Ice Cream Coupon.

Festival Survival Packs

Where food and drink are being sold as part of a community event, don’t be rude and give away drinks or food.  Instead, make up little packs of items in a small zip-lock bag.

Items could include:  Towelettes for cleaning sticky fingers, small samples of lotion or suntan cream, a peppermint hard candy to freshen breath, tissues, golf pencils and small pads of post-its or pads made from clean-cut scrap paper.

Don’t forget to give out outreach connect cards during your spring outreaches. If you need high-quality outreach cards, you can click on any of the links above to see the great selection of designs we offer, or simply go to this link below:

http://www.kindnessresources.com/Outreach-Cards-C10.aspx

Plan Now For Valentine’s Day Kindness Outreaches! by Janie Sjogren

“Did you get your Valentine today?“ It’s easy to put a Valentine’s Day outreach together in a short time.  People are really open this time of year, and everyone loves getting a little love shown to them!

Roses are a great idea, wrapped with baby’s breath and some florist paper from your local florist.  Order the parts and have your team wrap everything up.  Wrap up each red rose individually.  Wrap with baby’s breath, red florist paper and clear plastic sheets, then tie a ribbon with an outreach card to it.  Roses are great to give out on street corners, and people are surprised it is free.  Some churches use a “$1 Roses” sign and then give the rose and the dollar to people!  Red carnations also work well for this project.

Chocolates are a great gift of love this time of year.  Put Hershey kisses or other wrapped candies into small clear bags tied with ribbon and a card stating that “This is a little way to let you know God loves you, no strings attached!”  Gifts of candies to workers at stores are often well received, as well as showing love at nursing and care homes.  Buy 3” X 5” zip-closure bags online.

Set the date and time!  Get your team together, plan what you’ll give out and set the date for your Valentine’s Day outreach.  Make sure you have all the items to assemble before the outreach.

If you pack them, your people will give them away!  Another great way to get the sweets out to people is to send your Sunday attendees out the door with 5 or 10 sets of candies with cards attached ready to give away.

People need to know they are loved, and this is an easy way to do it!

For connect cards and zip-closure bags, check out KindnessResources.com.

3 Fun Easy and Inexpensive Holiday Outreaches by Steve Sjogren

1. Bread Giveaway

Everybody likes bread! Especially from those high-end bread stores with Bread Company somewhere in the name… Did you know that you can arrange to receive day-old bread from specialty bread stores for FREE? You can also check with national chain grocery stores that have in-house bakeries. Talk to the store manager and explain your outreach concept. Tell a few stories of the people you are helping and you will likely establish your “daily bread” connection. It will only take one or two of these connections to begin a substantial ministry in your community.

Many of these stores do not have a reliable source to distribute their old bread to. The key is to be consistent and reliable in picking up their bread. You will need to have a team and as schedule so you don’t disappoint the bread store managers. As a good public relations gesture, write a letter of thanks to the store manager for his company’s generosity to the community (and don’t be surprised to see it framed and posted on the wall of the store).

The ministry is simple and straight forward. Knock on the doors of the houses and apartments. Say, “Hi, we’re giving away fresh, free high-quality bread. Could you use some, or do you know anyone in the neighborhood who could use some?” Give recipients an outreach card and offer to pray for them as you hand out the bread.

How Do You Find People To Give Bread To?

Cold calling (just knocking on doors) in lower-income neighborhoods and apartments complexes works fine with this project. Stay away from neighborhoods closest to the donating store.

What You’ll Need

2. Big Christmas Party

People in need don’t always celebrate Christmas properly because there aren’t Christ-centered celebration opportunities. You can sponsor an event that will be fun and cause everyone to focus on Jesus.

The elements of this celebration include playing games and singing songs. As you sing Christmas carols, make sure the words are available. It’s also fun to have a few inexpensive rhythm instruments to play along with.

Someone can share what Christmas is about in a very positive and upbeat way – simply explaining, “Christmas is important to me because…”

Decorations and refreshments and a meal can be simple or elaborate, depending on the inclination of your group.

For about $1 per photo, you can take Polaroid pictures of kids with an ethnically correct Santa. Design a simple backdrop and get up-close with the camera. Mount the photo on red or green construction paper and add the child’s name and year with a gold or silver marking pen.

At the conclusion of the party, give away small gifts as people depart – perhaps a Bible or devotional book. Consider giving away the decorations as well.

How Do You Find People Who Would Enjoy A Christmas Party?

Invite those who are already connected with your ministry to those in need. Give out fliers or invitations at previous events in the neighborhood, or simply walk around the neighborhood and distribute fliers.

What You’ll Need:

  • facility to host the party
  • Polaroid camera and film
  • construction paper
  • glue sticks
  • gold and silver marking pens
  • refreshments
  • outreach cards

3. Winter Survival Kits

Winter can be hard on the body and the soul.  A survival kit is great encouragement to everyone who receives one.

The kit contains a packet of facial tissue, lip balm, throat lozenges, and an outreach card.

In Action

Our churches have had great success with this project as we have aimed it at parents and business professionals. We go to parks that parents frequent with their children and downtown sidewalks as business professionals make their way out to lunch. When those we meet notice how nice the kit is, they are very grateful and usually end up striking a conversation with us.

Where To Go

  • campuses
  • parks
  • neighborhoods
  • sporting events
  • downtown
  • commuters
  • shopping centers

What You’ll Need

  • zip lock plastic bags
  • lip balm
  • throat lozenges
  • individual packets of facial tissue
  • outreach cards

Why Outreach Cards

When doing a project, it is important to have a means to connect with those you serve. An outreach card is a business-sized card you can leave with those you have served so they can get back in touch you if they desire. The idea isn’t to accomplish a sales job where you promote your church. Rather, it is a simple way to leave your church’s name, address, phone number and service times so that when future needs arise, those you’ve served will have a way of reconnecting with you. The idea is to be available without giving out personal addresses.

If you need outreach cards for your holiday projects, we highly recommend those on our sister site at KindnessResources.com.

Christmas Outreach Card

Flower Give-Aways Are Great Outreaches by Janie Sjogren

flowers

Get a group together to bundle up flowers, with some other accent greenery.  Target anywhere that you can find women, i.e. shopping areas, Nursing Homes,  and people leaving libraries and exercise clubs.

Buy buckets of flowers, baby’s breath and some fern.  Get some ribbon, clear and green paper to wrap the flowers in, and some preprinted cards and rubber bands.

outreach cardCreate cards to attach to the flowers:
We just wanted you to know you are loved!

Have a blessed day!

From ______(church, website, celebration times, phone number)

This is a small reminder that you are loved!

or

Have a great day!

From ______(church, website, celebration times, phone number)

Create Phrase: Use a phrase above, or create your own.

Copy It: onto colored paper or cardstock.

Cut It: Assign a perfectionist to use a paper cutter and cut up into smaller cards.

Punch It: Make a hole with a hole punch in each card.

Bundle It: Buy buckets of flowers, baby’s breath and some fern.  Wrap a flower with some greenery, surround with green and clear plastic sheets of floral paper to wrap the flowers in, and secure with a rubber band.

Thread It: Thread a ribbon or two through the hole to attach the note to the flowers. Use one or two colorful strands, maybe 2 strands of 12” of either of red, pink, purple or white curling ribbon.

Bucket It: Place bottom ends of flowers into water in buckets, tub, coolers or bins to transport your flowers to your hand-out site.

LOCATIONS FOR OUTREACH

Intentional Acts of Kindness:  Find women to give flowers to on street corners, nursing homes, shopping areas and door to door give-aways.

Empower the people in church to extend love beyond the walls of the church:  Have the flowers with cards attached and ready on Sunday morning, and ask people to take them as they leave to give away.  They might have someone in mind, or they might know of someone who lives alone in their neighborhood who could use a lift.  Or they could hand them out to strangers that they come across.

WHAT TO SAY

“We just wanted to bless your day!”  “We just wanted you to know you are loved!”

How to Serve A School by Steve Bowen

I don’t know about you folks, but some of the best outreach opportunities come when i least expect them.  Most of them come from me just speaking less and listening more.  One example was our outreach to Fairborn elementary School in Ohio.

Adopt A School
Adopt A School

We had begun the long process of adopting Fairborn Elementary School. This past year has been a proving ground for us.

Rick Rusaw once answered when asked, How are you making such an impact within the school system you are in?

“We raked a lot of leaves.

It is such a simple approach.  Schools have thousands of felt needs.  all you have to do is look around for one you know you can meet.  then you do it.  You gain favor with an organization when you serve them, no strings attached.  While you are doing that, spend time with the people you are serving and try something different:  Let your actions spread the gospel rather than your mouth.  While you are being silent and working, listen to the people you are serving and you will find out how you can best serve them.

It is a simple kingdom principal: begin with what you have from where you are.

We already knew Fairborn Elementary was one of the lowest income schools in our area. The principals are a good kind of crazy, and really attempt to maintain an upbeat, creative fun environment for the 1700 kids and the teachers. They have a clothing shop at the school for the kids. When they see kids walking around in flip-flops, or with no coat they know the kid probably needs a pair of shoes and some warm clothing. Discreetly, they take the kids to the shop and they are able to pick out the the clothing and their own pair of shoes.  We knew we could help them with this.

We began to reach to the school by partnering with the Hope Foundation, a not for profit mobile food pantry. Each first Saturday of the month we deliver food to the school for the low income parents and kids. The principals spread the word and the people show up. They like what we do.

Backpacks Delivered
Backpacks Delivered

This spring we received a gift of $400 for shoes for the school and another couple added $300 to the gift. This enabled us to purchase 70 pairs of various sized shoes for the kids. My friend Cindy went on a shopping spree. She had a blast purchasing the shoes she thought her kids would like. When I brought the shoes to the school the principals helped me bring the shoes in from my car.

I chatted with them as we walked and they began to share their thoughts and needs.

We decided to ask what were the greatest needs of the school. We found out the custodians were over worked and needed help. We offered to do a Big Spring Clean. Leading up to the date they gathered a punch list. Mainly landscaping, signs and painting. On the day, we pulled weeds, painted, put up new signs and cleaned. The place looked great.

While we were doing this for the staff and kids, we discovered another huge need.  They have some serious problems with traffic flow as they handle 1,700 kids arriving each morning either by bus or car.  We looked over at the parking lot and found that we could fix this very easily–well with a little sweat equity and planning.  Having had similar woes as our church grew exponentially over the last few years, we had a pretty good handle on dealing with parking and traffic woes.  Pretty soon our best people were put on the case.  It took quite a few man hours, but before long we had painted traffic lanes and bus slots on the parking lot and presented

Now we are heading into a new school year. We will be continuing to care for the kids and the teachers by purchasing backpacks. Our people will take the packs home and fill with needed supplies. Our goal is to continue to serve our way into the heart of the school. Good deeds create good will that opens hearts to the good news.

Lots of Goodies!
Lots of Goodies

I went to the school to take pictures for the Big Spring Clean! I was snapping pictures in the playground during the recess period, a kid runs up to me and asks, “Hey mister, will you tie my shoes?” I replied, “Sure.” As I bent down to tie the smiling kids shoes I noticed, new shoes, no socks.(was wearing flip-flops now had shoes) I asked, “Hey did you get your new shoes from the school?” Grinning from ear to ear, he replied excitedly, “yep!” I finished tying is shoes, He said, “Thanks mister!,” and ran off to play. In that moment I felt the Son shine in my heart.

You know, small touches aren’t often long term need meeting events, but for that kid, and for that family it was a small thing, done with great love.

Who knows it may have even changed his world.


Steve Bowen
Steve Bowen

Steve Bowen is the Evangelism Pastor for The Dayton Vineyard:

“A Pretty Good Church”

Which is located in Beavercreek, Ohio. This column is an excerpt of Steve’s blog:

“Eyes Outward”
Ever attempted to run and play in flip-flops?