Every time a month has 5 Sundays, we at New Hope, take that 5th Sunday and rather than have our regular Sunday morning services, we go out into our communities and serve others. We call these weekends Care Weekends, and all projects are organized and implemented through our Life Groups. Below are some ideas for projects that would be great to do on a Care Weekend.

continuing Projects from “love the rock”

Painting street numbers on homes. The city provides ALL the stencils, paint, and supplies for this. It is a relatively easy, family-friendly project that can take as long as you have to give.

Fire Safety inspections/installing smoke detectors. This is intended more for older students and adults. The fire department will provide the smoke detectors and surveys and often will have at least one officer to support if time permits. This survey ends with a question similar to "how can we pray for your family?", so the team will need to be trained/prepared for having a spiritual conversation. We have video training available for this project from the LTRevent.


collecting and donating to the Salvation army’s shelter

As you prepare to do some spring cleaning, before you throw out those household items you never really got around to using, consider donating them to the Salvation Army's Austin Shelter for Women and Children.

Donations for the center are at an all-time low. 

"This is the lowest we've ever seen it here, so that's why this is such a huge cry of help to get the community to help donate these items because we are in desperate need," Corey Leith said. "A family of a mother and a child, mother and three children exiting the program, we can't provide them with pots and pans, we really have minimal stuff. So it's really difficult for us to make sure they're getting the items that they need in order to be successful." 

The Salvation Army accepts household items to later give to families and mothers with children who eventually leave the shelter to help them lead self-sufficient lives.

"We as the Salvation Army want to fill their house up with appliances and stuff like that to give them that extra step of help, but when we don't have any of those items here, it's really hard to help them out long-term," said Leith. 

Examples of different household items that are needed include:

- Bath mats, paper towels, toilet paper, towels

- Cups, mugs, plates

- Brooms, mops

- Cleaning supplies

- Cutting boards, kitchen utensils, knife sets, silverware

- Lightweight blankets, pillows (new), sheet sets  

- Small lamps

- Pots, pans, pot holders

- Trash cans 

Community members can donate anytime between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week at the shelter located at 4613 Tannehill Lane, Building 3, Austin, TX 78721. 

You can also donate items listed in the Salvation Army Wish List, which can be found here.


General Ideas

Host a free garage sale
Bring free lunches to construction workers and servicemen in your area
Clean up a widow’s or single mom’s yard
Give out free sunscreen and bottled water at a city park
Plan a “Back to School Bash” for foster care children. Have free food, games, and a backpack/school supply giveaway
Give out free donuts and coffee at bus stop or shopping center
Host a free car wash for the faculty
Minor car repairs for elderly, widows and/or single mom’s
Kids host a free kids toys and games garage sale
Kids host a free lemonade stand

College Campus

Band: Serve free drinks or snacks at their practises
Sports teams: Serve free bottled water at their practises
Give away free mechanical pencils or energy drinks to college students
Host a free picnic in the quad
Give out free donuts and coffee on the quad

Street Outreach

Serve hot breakfast for the homeless in our community
Do a community trash clean up
Host a “Block Party” with free food, games, music, etc. for families
Renovate a run-down playground or park in the area
Do a door-to-door grocery giveaway
Have a “Free Grass Cutting” day

Businesses/Service Organizations/Public Servants

Wash windows
Trash pick-up in parking lot
Cook Lunch for your local police or fire station

Nursing Homes

Deliver fresh flowers to the residents
Host a worship service at a nursing home (offer worship, devotions, prayer, and fellowship)
Throw a “Senior Prom” complete with live music, food, and decorations
Landscape a flower garden and sitting area for resident
Have kids make crafts (necklaces, wooden crosses) that can be given to residents
Distribute chips and sodas to residents & employees (check with staff on food restrictions)

Special Needs or Youth Home

Identify a family with a special needs child and give the family a Mom & Dad’s day out
Adopt a group home for the day and throw a party for the residents
Build a wheelchair ramp for handicapped
Organize a field day for a group youth home

Hospitals

Serve free coffee, energy drinks, and snacks to staff and those waiting in the emergency room
Give out healthy snacks to patients of chemotherapy
Deliver small gifts to patients and families in the children’s ward (toys, care packages, etc)
Prayer visits with patients and those in emergency room
Take care-packages with snacks, sweets and small gift items (lotions, magazines, puzzles etc.) to families of hospitalized children.

Recommended Reading

For further inspiration, or to get more ideas, please check out these great books:

Servolution by Dino Rizzo
Conspiracy of Kindness by Steve Sjogren
The Cause Within You by Matthew Barnett
When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert