Nurse Appreciation

Nurse's Survival Kit

Poor persons will never disappear from the earth. That’s why I’m giving you this command: you must open your hand generously to your others, to the needy among you, and to the poor who live with you in your land. Deuteronomy 15:11

Serve: nurses (school, local hospital, etc.) during National Nurses Week, May 6-12

Connect: help children think of a time when they have been physically hurt or sick and a nurse has helped to care for them; nurses often work long hours and do extra because they care about others and a simple, fun “thank you” can help them know they are respected and appreciated

Extra: invite a nurse to share about why he/she became a nurse and what it means to serve others in this profession

Materials: 

  • survival kit explanation card printed onto cardstock
  • nurse’s prayer printed onto colored paper:
    Holy God, guide the heart, hands, and healing words of this special nurse each day as this person cares for your children in need of healing. Help each nurse provide comfort and compassion at just the right moment. And when the day comes to an end, allow for peaceful rest to keep this person strong to continue again in healing ministry. Amen.
  • sandwich or snack bags
  • marker
  • crayons (optional)
  • For each kit:
    • lifesaver
    • marble
    • candle
    • snicker
    • starburst
    • button
    • lollipop
    • mint
    • tootsie roll
    • gum

Directions: 

  • put one of each item in a bag
  • give each child a marker to write his/her first name on nurse’s prayer card
  • ask each child to read the prayer before putting it inside the kit
  • have children use crayons to color the front of the survival kit explanation card (optional)
  • seal the bag
  • fold the explanation card in half along the dotted line
  • staple it over the top of the baggie zipper (try not to cover the contents too much)
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Outreach Oatmeal

Oatmeal Packets

I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. Matthew 25:35

Serve: hungry members of the community; local shelters

Connect: for most kids, oatmeal is a staple food and they are probably most familiar with it in its prepackaged, instant form; help kids appreciate the goodness of oatmeal as a hearty and healthy food source but also one that is not expensive, made even less expensive with a homemade version so that with a little effort, children will be able to help more people for less money

Go Further: show kids the difference a little effort can make with a quick object lesson:

  • show kids a box of prepackaged instant oatmeal, affirming that 10 people can enjoy a good meal by each eating one package, and the cost is about $2.50
  • ask children if they think spending about $0.25/meal is a good deal? feeding 10 people for $2.50 a good thing? what if you could feed six times as many people?
  • pour out the contents of a large container of instant oats into a clear bowl; scoop out a 1/4 cup of oats and explain that is how much is in an average packet; there are about 60 servings in one container of instant oats, and the cost is about $3.70
  • ask children if they think spending $0.06/meal is better than $0.25/meal? is feeding 60 people the same amount of food better than only feeding 10?
  • explain that they can go the easy way and feed 10 people or put in a little effort and feed six times that many people

Materials: 

  • print cooking instructions onto Avery® 8160 labels (add your church name and address)
  • 12 oz. styrofoam cups (double check the label for microwave safety)
  • markers (optional)
  • plastic spoons
  • measuring cups
  • plastic wrap
  • twist ties
  • instant oats
  • brown sugar, cinnamon, etc. (optional)
  • cinnamon
  • snack size baggies (alternative for styrofoam cups and plastic wrap)

Directions:

  • give each child a 12oz styrofoam cup and explain it will be used as a bowl
  • have children attach a label to the cup
  • children can decorate the outside of the cups with markers (optional)
  • combine into a 12oz styrofoam cup
    • 3/4 cup of instant oats
    • 2 plastic spoonfuls of brown sugar
    • 1/2 plastic spoonful of cinnamon
  • place the styrofoam cup in the center of a piece of plastic wrap
  • gather the plastic wrap up and around the cup, secure closed with a twist tie

Washing Works

Washing Works

You must wash your clothes on the seventh day and you will be clean. Numbers 31:24

Serve: homeless and transient populations who may not have access or means to use washing machines but cold wash clothes by hand in a sink* (a large batch of soap is also a great gift to a local shelter)

Connect: children probably know better than most that dirt and messes happen, but they may not yet appreciate that washing clothes takes some work; challenge children to consider what it would be like to wear the same clothes for days and weeks without washing

Materials:

  • zoat laundry soap
  • butcher knife
  • cutting board
  • borax
  • washing soda
  • quart size baggies
  • print washing instructions on to Avery® 5162 labels:
    add 1-2 Tablespoons per load of laundry
  • cheese graters
  • measuring cups
  • plastic spoons (optional)

Directions:

  • an adult can use a large butcher knife and cutting board to divide a bar of zoat into three equal pieces
  • show kids how to use a cheese grater to shave soap
  • combine into a quart size bag:
    • 1/3 bar of zoat, shaved
    • 1 cup of borax
    • 1 cup of washing soda
  • seal the bag well and shake to mix
  • add a label with washing instructions
  • put in a plastic spoon to measure soap for washing (optional)

 

*This laundry soap works great in cold water and rinses well to leave clothes clean without the need for a washing machine, which makes it perfect for those who do not have the means to use laundry appliances or who choose to wash in cold water to save money.

Diapers of Cheer

Diaper Cheer

He put a child in the middle of the room. Then, cradling the little one in his arms, he said, “Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me—God who sent me.” Mark 9:36-37, The Message

Serve: new parents and babies

Connect: it’s a dirty job to change diapers but it is one way parents care for babies who aren’t able to use the toilet; help children see that even the dirtiest job (no one likes poop!) can be an act of love

Materials:

  • size 1 diapers
  • sharpie markers (NO washable markers)

Directions

  • give each child several diapers and sharpie markers
  • encourage children to think about happy or funny images to draw on the diapers
  • allow children to write include “clean” with the punchline on the back

Go Further: have children host a diaper and wipes drive to supply a local food pantry or shelter with these needed supplies