Making a Family Harvest Offering

Making a Family "Harvest Offering"
by Amy Wickstrom, PhD.
While at church, I picked up a parenting brochure that described a new, creative spin on using money jar for a family service project. For those of you who have tried to teach your children how to "give" in a culture that likes to "take," this may be just what you are looking for.

Making a "Harvest Offering"

1) Find a mason jar (or any other container) for your family to fill with spare change and dollar bills.

2) Decorate the jar together using glue, beads, stickers, pipe cleaners, or anything else you can think of. This will build enthusiasm and momentum for the family service project.

3) Explain to your children that you will be making a harvest offering to someone in need of extra money this fall. With Thanksgiving drawing near, it is a special time to think about all of the blessings your family has received, as well as how to give back to others. The money put into the jar will be used to do something special for a specific person or family. It could be a neighbor, homeless person, co-worker, relative, or friend.

4) Set to work on how to brainstorm ways to earn money for the jar. This might include a bake sale, searching pockets for loose change, selling toys that aren't being used, and doing "extras" around the house.

5) Brainstorm how the harvest offering funds can be used for the person or family in need. Some ideas include buying all of the groceries for Thanksgiving dinner for a family who wouldn't be able to afford one otherwise, sponsoring a child living in poverty (, or anonymously giving a Toys R Us gift card to a parent who cant afford to buy their child any Christmas presents this year.

6) As time passes and your family fills up the jar with money, be sure to talk about the joy of giving, the hard work it takes to earn money, and how the act of giving takes us outside of our comfort zone.

Enjoy making memories with your children as you work together toward a project geared toward someone else's benefit! 

Amy Wickstrom, PhD, Marriage and Family Therapist, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor. The play therapy blog at  More Than a Toy ( To order a pre-made Mason Jar for Fall Autumn Harvest Blessing,  go here today.