Do you volunteer in your community with your children?
Here are 10 reasons why you should:
- Your children will become more responsible citizens.
- They will learn new skills.
- It’s a great way to spend time together as a family.
- Children will gain self-confidence.
- Your children will learn to appreciate what they have.
- They will see that one person can make a difference, and can do so much to help others and their community.
- Your kids will be able to spend time with people of different ethnicities, backgrounds, and income levels. Despite any differences, your children will not only see how people can unite for the love of their community but also see the needs of others.
- Cleaning up parks, helping with animals, volunteering at a food bank, or donating their unused toys and clothes will broaden your children’s experiences and perspective.
- Volunteering will not only fight boredom (especially over school vacation time), but will also get them outside, and away from the television and video games.
- Volunteering teaches life skills such as team work and responsibility.
Here are 10 things you can do with your child to encourage them to give back:
- Give your child a box or bag and have them choose toys and books to donate that they no longer play with or have grown out of.
- Contact local organizations who arrange clean-ups of beaches, rivers, and parks, and pick up trash.
- Encourage them to put some of their allowance in a jar to donate to a charity.
- Help serve meals at a soup kitchen, or local homeless shelter.
- Make a card, draw a picture, or write a letter to military personnel.
- Visit a nursing home as a family. The kids can play games with the residents, or put on a play for them. They could also help decorate for holidays, and visit residents on their birthday.
- Make blankets for organizations such as Project Linus who donate them to seriously ill and traumatized children – they have a free no sew fleece blanket pattern on their website which would be perfect for kids to help make.
- Have the kids help make a batch of cookies, or other special treat for a special neighbor, babysitter, or elderly person in your neighborhood.
- Reach out to local animal shelters to see if your kids can pet and play with animals waiting for adoption, or offer to walk the dogs as a family.
- Volunteer at local sports events, kids could help hand out water and cheer on competitors.
Are there other ways your family give back to the community? I’d love to hear more about them.