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"Do anarchists even have a role in providing relief to strangers?"

Yes, definitely, as anyone might, out of empathy, or need, or reflex, or circumstance, or any number of reasons.

"Yet do we not also risk something by playing by the same games that politicians do?

Yes, definitely, so we shouldn't.

"How equipped are anarchists for dealing with problems conceptualized in the order of thousands of people, or even hundreds or tens for that matter?"

As well as anybody, but what would distinguish an anarchist way of doing so would be not to do it in a "mass consumer society approach", but in a decentralized, diy direct action, and collaborating as needed etc. which if the people involved do it, it can work, but you can't expect an sudden cultural shift and re-skilling in the wider population, whether in a crisis or not. Therefore, an anarchist way of doing anything is focal or marginal at best, though some things can catch on a bit more than others.

"How do we prevent our projects from falling into pure service provision or evaporating as soon as the next big headline appears (if not even before)?"

To keep it from mere service provision you should keep the focus on meeting people (chatting about what you feel like, having fun), getting to know the ones you like or get along well with, and staying in touch, instead of focusing on the numbers game of reaching out or servicing the most people possible, because then it just becomes an impersonal relationship of "service provider - consumer", or charity. When you give a birthday gift to a good friend you like, it's different from charity in many ways. You can't expect that will be the result from any given interaction, but it should resemble that more, than charity. More like an open invitation to a party, than a parachuting missionary. When the focus is on "the numbers game" (whether literally counting or not) then people involved may feel like gears in a giving machine, instead of feeling like people, feeling good with each other.
Important lessons from similar accounts are gathered here:

Another way would be to do it as an excuse to really have fun (not say you did as well, as a byproduct), to create unique circumstances, or events that break the routine, or as an alibi for something else. I only make this suggestion because it literally keeps it from being pure service provision, like the question asked.

The desirable or ultimate actual length of duration of the projects in mind depend on a lot of things. Ideally no one has to do them beyond the point where they are bored of it, much less burnt out. In any case it's better to have an idea of an exit plan or a retreat, or some form of ending, rather than have it crumble under pressure or over-extension, and deal with undesirable and unexpected consequences.

This focus on having it be a pleasant experience is to make sure you won't regret it and may want to do something similar again, instead of doing it begrudgingly. You're probably not getting paid for this, unless it's a cover for some scheme like in the other suggestion, so why do it if it's not enjoyable. If the answer is "to help other people", it might mean that it pains you so much to see them suffer, that trying to alleviate their pain, eases yours. Or you just simply find helping out joyful. Or your life is so awesome and you are so capable that you don't mind going out of your way to help someone, even if it costs you temporary inconvenience or even suffering. If your satisfaction is attached to specific results, instead of the act of doing or trying your best, you might get disappointed, but you won't know unless you try.

If you're on some power trip, or trying to be a martyr, try to stop being a politician, or a cultist, or an activist.

ps. I answered these with too much words because i saw there were few comments and i was bored and sleepy. I should have probably stayed away from computer forever. This type of answer is pretty generic. I would have expected a bunch of answers similar to this, but I guess not many people read it, or get tired of the same discussions, or find trolling more fun (which it often is)..............."should anarchists intervene in a crisis?" NOT IF THERE IS A DANGEROUS SPACE POLICY IN PLACE