the giving tree

12 Months of Mission Event Fun!

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Looking for a way to involve your families in local missions? 

"The Giving Tree" is the perfect way to get them involved...and meet the needs of your community. 

And it all starts...with a Christmas Tree!

You can use a plain, ordinary Christmas tree OR...if you have someone that is handy with tools...have them build a super, fantastic tree from wood. 

Since your tree will be the "Main Event" make it spectacular!

Switch the decorations out occasionally, keep it FRESH looking!

Let your imagination run wild.

You may even want to decorate it with a holiday or seasonal theme.

Make it spectacular but leave LOTS of room for the donations. 

Remember the adage...less is more! 

Bright colors are always an eye-catcher so don't forget to use color in your decorations!

You may want to create a huge "Topper" and keep the rest simple and appealing!

Switch out your mission event monthly!

Here are a few tree ideas for you to consider


Regular Christmas Tree

Select a tree that is large enough to be seen...and one that will hold plenty of donations.

Prepare a colorful collection box to sit beside the tree. All item that is too heavy to go on the tree can be dropped into the box.

Change the look of your tree each month.

Keep the decorations simple...and few...so that you have room for your donations.

Consider spray painting your tree a different color each month. Just take it outside and give it a fresh look. Even a hint of color is good!

Go ahead and add a few items to your tree so that families will know what you are collecting at a glance. For instance, if you are having a sock drive, add a few pairs of colorful socks to get things rolling.

Attach clothespins (hooks, tiny colorful bags, ribbons, etc.) to your tree to be used when attaching their gifts. (you may want to paint the pins various bright colors).

Remember to support your tree. Attach a support wire to prevent it from tipping over onto someone. Although a regular tree (depending on size) is not that heavy...it could still hurt someone.

Send me a picture of your tree, I would love to add it HERE to help kick imaginations into gear!



Wooden Christmas Tree

With a wooden Christmas Tree, you can get even more creative. Design the tree as tall as you like, design it with a little crook or lopsided, etc. You could even create an entire forest with several trees, cotton batting as snow, etc. 

Attach cup hooks to your tree for the hanging of donations. Ribbons or small bags could be     

added to the hooks as well. 

The main thing here is support. Since families will be touching the display, it must be sound in design. A good idea would be to have a support wire attached to the top to prevent tipping over onto someone. 

Paint your trees with any creative colors that you would like. Who says there can't be a purple tree?

Create an over to top tree topper and switch out a few things each month.

Go ahead and add a few items to your tree so that families will know what you are collecting at a glance. For instance, if you are having a sock drive, add a few pairs of colorful socks to get things rolling.

If you create your own tree, please send me a picture so that I can add it HERE to help kick imaginations into gear!


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You Know Your Community Better Than Anyone

Mission Events

The following events are simply suggestions. You know your community better than anyone else. If you have a specific mission event in mind...that is not listed, simply send me a message and I will try to create one for you (FREE)


Don't forget to add cards or tracks or tags to each gift.

Reach out to those who are hurting, hungry, cold or lost! 

Draft those in your church who may not be able to physically participate in the mission to write cards or fill out tags for each item.

This is the perfect time to start working on future volunteers. Get EVERYONE involved in some way. People want to serve where they see results. If they see a thriving Children's Ministry...they will want to become a part of it. 

I have added gift tags and gift card downloads with the download link below. 

Teach your children to give and to help those in need...Make one day per month (perhaps the Sunday that your Christmas tree changes to the next mission event) your mission focus. There are some excellent lessons in the Bible such as:

  • Dorcas/Tabitha - Who did good acts for neighbors, etc. Acts 9

  • Instruction that Jesus gave to farm owners - Leave the outer portion for those in need and do not harvest fields a second time. (Good whiteboard lesson) Leviticus 23

  • The Widow of Zarephath 1 Kings 17:7–16 

  • The Shunammite Woman 2 Kings 4:8–10 

  • Joseph of Arimathea Matthew 27:57–60 

  • The Churches of Macedonia 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 

Include your children in tagging gifts, sorting, counting...and even delivering the items. There is nothing more powerful than seeing their work in action. 




Jesus is Alive
Sidewalk Chalk Challenge

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Whip out the chalk and get ready for some AMAZING creations.

This challenge is super easy.

  • Purchase a box of chalk for each child (Dollar store or Dollar General is perfect). (If your budget is small, place 3 pieces of chalk inside each ziplock bag and attach tag....it's all good! 

  • Attach challenge tag

  • Send your littles out to create some breathtaking Easter art on their sidewalk.

  • Children are asked to take photos of their creations and text them to you.

  • Creations are placed on Facebook.

  • The winner is selected.

  • The prize is presented.

                                                             NOW, HOW EASY IS THAT?

Budget saving idea

  • Watch for after Easter sales and snag-printed plastic Easter goodie bags for almost nothing! The next time you do this event, you can drop 3 pieces of chalk inside the goodie bag and twist tie it to close...cute!)

  • Watch for end of summer sales and grab up some sidewalk chalk


This event is also the perfect outreach event...It costs nothing to put on...except for a prize. 

  • Post the event/challenge online.

  • Make sure to include the words "Open to the public...anyone can play!"

  • Share, share, share your post!

  • Do a Facebook blast. (A Facebook blast is where you post your challenge on your Facebook page and then everyone in your church logs on at the same time and shares your post with family and friends.)

  • Allow your challenge to run for 2 weeks (optional).

  • All participants are asked to text their creations to you.

  • All entries are posted on Facebook.

  • At the end of the two weeks, select a winner or run a contest and allow others to vote.

  • Announce the winner and invite everyone to attend Easter Sunday Service.

  • Award the prize.

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Editable Facebook Invitation
Add your own information on the bottom of the downloaded slide 

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Editable Bag Tag - Insert your own text.




Laffy Taffy Friday - Faith and Trust

Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” 
Genesis 17:17

So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Genesis 18:12

  • Drop off...or mail a piece (more if you would like) of Laffy Taffy to each child.

  • Post the Laffy Taffy Competition on your Facebook site

  • Challenge kids to post their best jokes in the comment section of your Facebook post.

  • The best joke will win an entire container of Laffy Taffy.​

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Make Um' Laugh


Take turns being "It"

"It" will try to make everyone else laugh

"It" may not say anything

"It" may not touch anyone else.

Once someone laughs, they become the new "It" and the game continues.

If there are enough participants, you may pair up and play with 2 people on each team.


Genesis 17:17-19, Genesis 18: 10-15 and Genesis 21:1-7

Laughing Sarah

Laughing Abraham

Don’t underestimate God. Don’t laugh. God can do mighty things...things that we do not understand.


Abraham was 99 years old (Genesis 17:1 and 17:17)

Sarah was ninety years old. (Genesis 17:17)

Sarah had a wonderful husband. 

She had a lot going for her.

But the one thing she wanted more than anything was a child.

When the Lord visited Abraham and said that he would have a son through Sarah, Abraham fell on his face and laughed (Genesis 17:17)

When the Lord visited Abra­ham and said they would have a son, Sarah laughed to herself (Genesis 18:10-12). She likely thought it was impossible—and perhaps even ridiculous.

When she overheard the strange guest tell her husband, “Lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son,” she couldn’t help laughing. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”


But this was no joke – it was God fulfilling His promise.

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” — Genesis 21:6

Yet later as she held her newborn son in her arms, Sarah understood that God was laughing with her. So she laughed again and urged others to laugh with her—not because the situation was funny or ridiculous, but because it was so wondrous. She even named the child Isaac, which means “laughter.”

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” — Genesis 21:6

God had brought laughter and hope to Abraham and Sarah. 

God’s faithfulness to Sarah and Abraham is one example of how God is faithful to us. God wants to bring all of us laughter and joy. Abraham and Sarah’s long years of disappointment at not being able to have a child ended as the joy of welcoming this baby boy filled their hearts. 

The world’s disappointing and long years of waiting turned to a new hope with the arrival of another baby boy: Jesus. That’s what the season of Advent is about. It’s also about Christ’s coming again to bring an end to sin and death and sorrow.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that joy will come in the morning. But no matter how dark things seem...they will always seem brighter in the morning. 


God has a time for everything...and everything is in His timing.


Shadow Puppets and Devotion Review

You will need a flashlight for this game

Turn off all of the lights

Turn on the flashlight

Make shadows on the wall or ceiling using the flashlight and your hands

Guess what the shadows are.

A perfect time for a flashlight review of the evening's lesson on faith and trust in God...even when things seem the darkest.

Blanket Tent (Prayer Time)

For extra family time fun, create a tent using blankets, chairs, tables, etc. 

Stretch the blanket(s) over the top of the chairs or tabletop and crawl underneath.

Perfect time for prayer...Take your flashlight along!




Create a fun and memorable "Golden Ruler" bag to teach your children

The Golden Rule (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you)


Bags include a ruler, bookmark, backpack tag, a sheet of "Situation Cards" to encourage family discussion, a candy bar (hide a golden ticket inside some of the candy bars for a chance to win misc. school supplies), and anything else that you would like to include.

The Golden Rule for Peace
Porch Drops, Drive-By Pick-Ups, Hand-Out's
or Back to School

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Create "Situation Cards" to go inside each bag.

Situation Cards will encourage family discussion and devotion time.

There is a sample card below along with a link to an editable version of the card.

The font used to create the Situation card is

"Princess Sophia" and can be downloaded free at 1001freefonts.com





Golden Pencils

If you would like to purchase golden (personalized) pencils that read "The Golden Rule, you can find them at oriental trading for $9.99/24 Count




Challenge Your Families to a
"House of Cards" Competition

Who can build a house using all 54 cards?

 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27 

  • Drop off...or mail a deck of cards to each family. (Optional: Most families have a deck of card...you could provide a deck for only those needing them)

  • Challenge families to build a house of cards...using all 54 cards.

  • Challenge families to have a Matthew 7:24-27 devotion time while building their houses.

  • What a perfect time to teach your children about building their lives on Christ...Trusting God...Faith!


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Download and edit with your own information

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Spot the Difference
Teachable Moment
We are all flawed!

In a
deck of
spades are
always black


Porch Drop or Packet Tag


More Ideas and Suggestions!


  • Include a copy of Matthew 7:24-27 with your cards

  • Include a list of topics for each family to discuss as they work on building their houses.

  • Turn your "Family Fun Night" into a Facebook competition. Ask families to submit 2-3 photos of their family fun night...one photo of the completed house of cards.

  • Select a winner(s) and give out Lowe's or Home Depot gift card...to be used for home improvements (support local businesses if possible)

  • Use this activity as a "Porch Drop" activity. Drop off a deck of cards to each family with the above tag attached.

  • Have an acronym competition...have each family create an acronym using the letters C.A.R.D.S. - Example Christ Alone Redeems and Delivers Sinners...Hand out gift cards for the best acronym. 

  • Suggest that families skip cooking for one night and "Build a Sandwich" instead...another great teaching moment!

  • Print out the "Can you spot the error-flaw" page and hand it out to each family...a great time to teach the children that we are all flawed.