15 Ways to Get Kids Involved in Volunteering
February 17, 2017 Liz Palisin Featured Nonprofits 0 Comment
At Power of Purpose, we believe that volunteering is a great way to stay healthy and hopeful. It provides opportunities to share what we have and to learn from others in unexpected and wonderful ways. Volunteering benefits us all for a lifetime and it is important to teach children that early.
Charity is incredibly important in communities everywhere. It teaches compassion and empathy and makes kids more aware of the world around them. So how can you get them away from the TV and involved in helping others?
1) Feed Others
A great way to show kids how volunteering can make an impact in your community is to take them to a food shelter and help set up a yummy meal. They will feel a sense of pride serving what they have made and learn how they can impact someone’s life with something as simple as a good meal.
2) Conserve Nature
It is impossibly easy to get your backyard, or even your apartment balcony certified as a wildlife garden through the National Wildlife Federation. This is a great way to get kids excited about preserving the natural world around them. Have them look up endangered or exotic animals and imagine what it would be like to have them in your backyard.
3) Donate Together
An easy way for kids to donate is with old clothing. Go through clothes they have outgrown together and stress the importance of giving things you don’t need to others who do. This goes for toys, books, and other knick knacks too.
4) Visit the Elderly
Go out and take your kids to a nursing home, assisted living facility, or another elderly person in the neighborhood. Play card games, plant flowers, sing songs, do crafts together, teach each other new skills, make up stories, exchange advice, and build a real connection. This shows children the value of the elderly in our society and lives.
5) Do Odd Jobs
You never know the difference you can make in a neighbor’s day by simply helping with chores. Encourage kids to shovel a front walk when it’s snowy, pick up the paper, or offer to water flowers to help someone nearby.
6) Positive Puppy Time
If you are ready to get a dog, consider a service dog. This way you get to have a great puppy and also help those that need it. Usually, the training is two years long for a service dog. You can also take donated food to the Humane Society, just be careful of the cuteness or you might leave with a new family member!
7) Give Blood
This is a great way to show your kids that giving doesn’t end when you become an adult. Just because the answer now for volunteering might be “because I said so” doesn’t mean that as an adult you stop. Show them that as a family you will always be committed to making a difference.
8) Think Locally
There are plenty local nonprofits and organizations that always need more helping hands. Try to think of an area that your child is interested in to focus on. If they love sports, maybe they could spend time with disabled kids playing their favorite games. If they love building things, maybe growing a community garden would be more their style. See what your area offers.
9) Act It Out
This is always fun for kids: Have them form a band or acting troupe with friends and give free performances to people in your neighborhood or family. This shows them that their creativity can be put to an altruistic use.
10) Family Jar
Make a charity jar in your house that kids have to put some of their allowance in. Make sure that when it is full you go together and donate to show them that their hard-earned dollars are making someone else’s life better. It is exciting for kids to pick out what charities they want to donate to!
10) Seasonal Ideas
Be aware of the time of the year it is. Maybe if it’s hot outside kids could give popsicles to mailmen or workers. If it is winter there might be more of a need for warm clothing or supplies for shelters. Take these things into account and be creative!
10) Make It Routine
By incorporating any of these activities into your family’s life, you will be showing your kids that charity is a way of life and not a chore. Once they see how big of an impact they can have on the people they see in their community they will want to be a volunteer in the future.