Tapestry of Faith: Families: A Jr. High School Youth Program that Explores the Diversity, Commonality, and Meaning of Families

Faith In Action: Helping Families

Part of Families

Activity time: 60 minutes

Preparation for Activity

  • Be prepared to present possible options to the group. One good place to start is with your Justice Committee or Volunteer Match online. Contact the Department of Human Resources (DHR) if you are considering the foster care option or the coordinator for the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN).

Description of Activity

Since this is your first Faith in Action project, you might want to keep it simple. One possibility is any activity that helps families in need in your community. Your area might have an IHN. The IHN is different from most homeless shelters in two ways: it keeps families together and the "shelter" rotates to a different house of worship each week. If your congregation is not a host, contact another congregation that is hosting soon and ask if your program participants can coordinate a dinner. Coordinating a dinner usually involves providing enough food for all the families and your group, having dinner together, and enjoying fellowship until lights out. Youth can bring board games or movies to share.

Another possibility is connecting with youth in the foster care system. Contact the DHR in your state to find out ways you can help. Such help might involve collecting toiletries to make care packages. Many times young people do not have advance notice that they must leave home to move in with a foster family. Care packages can provide their basic needs. Ask if you may include a special gift in each package, such as a book or a journal. The DHR might be able to provide a guest speaker who can talk to program participants while they create care packages. Consider asking the Social Justice Committee for funds to purchase toiletries.

Another option involves using Volunteer Match to look for a simple community service opportunity.