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Tennessee Kids Serve

Kids from the 2023 Tennessee Kids Serve Summer Challenge at the celebratory summer carnival for top participants.

Register Kids Now for Tennessee Kids Serve

First Lady Maria Lee is challenging Tennessee kids to get involved in the community with the summer Tennessee Kids Challenge.

Summer is a time when kids kick back, but they can also learn the value of serving others during their break.

Kids can make a difference in their communities through the sixth annual Tennessee Kids Serve Summer Challenge. An initiative of First Lady Maria Lee, kids in kindergarten through rising sixth can sign up. Participants must complete one service activity in two of eight categories for a two-hour service minimum.

“Serving others was instilled in me at a young age,” says First Lady Lee. “So I know how transformative it can be for a young person to learn that they have the ability to make a difference in someone’s life,” she adds.

All kids who complete the summer challenge will receive a certificate of recognition signed by First Lady Maria Lee. Top participants will be invited to a carnival at the Tennessee Governor’s Residence on September 7, 2024 hosted by Governor Bill Lee and the First Lady.

Since it started in 2019, the Tennessee Kids Serve Summer Challenge has involved more than 2,200 kids across the state, logging upwards of 7,784 collective hours.

Tennessee Kids Serve

This year’s challenge runs Saturday, June 1, 2024 through Thursday, August 1, 2024. Kids pick a service activity from at least two of the eight categories:

Tennessee Kids Serve Service Categories

1: Show kindness to the elderly (help an elderly neighbor with chores; become a pen pal with an elderly resident of a nursing home, etc.)
2: Feed the hungry (volunteer to serve a meal; collect donations for a local food pantry, etc.)
3: Care for kids and families (Create a family comfort kid for a family staying at the Ronald McDonald House; bring welcome cookies to a new family in your neighborhood; volunteer to help a family with their yard sale, etc.)
4: Honor veterans and first responders (help your local fire department with cleaning chores; place flowers or flags at your local veteran’s cemetary, etc.)
5: Serve those who serve: (Write letters of gratitude to military; offer to help a teacher in reorganizing her classroom over the summer, etc.)
6: Support foster kids and families: (Invite a foster child your family knows to a day of fun with your family; order supplies to make a TAKPAK for a child entering foster care with Tennessee Alliance for Kids, etc.)
7: Beautify your neighborhood: (Volunteer to help with yardwork at a senior center; pick up trash at a local park, etc.)
8: Free Choice/Random Acts of Kindness: (Hold a lemonade stand or car wash and donate proceedings to a local non-profit; visit the Tennessee Serves volunteer portal to find a volunteer opportunity in your area.




About the Author

Susan Swindell Day

Susan Day is the editor in chief for this award-winning publication and all-things Nashville Parent digital creative. She's also an Equity actress, screenwriter and a mom of four amazing kids.