Hey kids, this one’s for YOU! (And parents too!)

Hey kids, this one’s for YOU! (And parents too!)

Kids have huge hearts and regularly want to serve their homeless neighbors. But explaining the complexity of homelessness and addiction is one tough job! We’ve created a helpful handout for parents, teachers, Sunday school teachers, care givers, etc. to use with the little people in their lives. This handout is written for children, ages 4-13. You can download and print it here. We hope it blesses your young world changers, and we can’t wait to see how they grow to help their neighbors in need!

Hey, kids! Has this ever happened to you?

You’re driving to school with your mom or dad, and you’re stuck at a light. Out of the corner of your eye, you notice a man standing in the grass holding a sign that reads “Homeless. Please help.” What do you do?

That’s pretty tough, isn’t it? It’s hard to see someone who needs help and not know what to do. Homelessness, poverty, and addiction are everywhere in your community, and the team at Wheeler Mission knows you and your family can be a big help in making a difference.

So, you want to help? GREAT! But first…

Let’s unpack a couple questions.

1. Why do some people become homeless?
The causes of homelessness are different for each person. Sometimes, it’s due to something outside their control, like job loss or mental illness. Other times, it’s due to poor choices, like gambling or substance abuse. Every person’s situation is different, but homelessness is a very difficult time in life.

2. Is it okay to give people money?
If you meet someone who’s homeless and he or she asks you for money, it’s okay to respond with a kind “hello.” But we don’t think it’s a good idea to offer money, as sometimes that money can be spent on things that hurt–like drugs or alcohol.

Instead, with your parents, you could offer a snack, a pair of socks, or a bottle of water. Try saying something like, “Hello, sir. I’m so sorry you’re hungry. I’m not able to give you money, but I can share my granola bar. Would you like it?”

Point someone in need toward Wheeler Mission.

With your parent’s help, let the person know about Wheeler Mission. Share that Wheeler helps men, women, and children without homes and provides meals, safe shelter, and more care.

Talk to your parents about how YOU can help!

It’s GREAT you want to help your neighbors in need. Before you do anything, talk with your parents and let them know you want to help. Here are some ideas you can chat about!

1. Give sacrificially. Consider setting aside a portion of your allowance or birthday money to donate to an organization that cares for people in need. You could also raise money for the organization by having a lemonade or baked goods stand or selling handmade crafts.

2. Collect items. Hold a gift drive at your school or church to collect items that our neighbors in need don’t have, such as: soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, and underwear. Canned goods and other grocery items are also helpful for organizations (like Wheeler) that prepare lots of meals. We have a whole list of helpful items here.

3. Volunteer. We know you can make a difference when you serve at Wheeler Mission! We offer numerous opportunities designed specifically for families to serve together. Serving meals, sorting donations, hosting movie nights–just to name a few! Learn more here!

4. Pray. Pray regularly as a family for your neighbors facing homelessness. Pray they find safety, help, and hope in Christ.