One of the most important things we can do as parents is teach our children how to be charitable. Teaching kids to volunteer not only helps shape them into good people, but also teaches them important lessons such as how to appreciate the things they have (family, a home, food, shelter, and other basics that those less fortunate may lack). Volunteering also encourages children (and anyone) to empathize more with others.
Ways to volunteer with preschoolers
- Go through your pantry or take a trip to the supermarket to pick out canned goods to donate to a food drive.
- Pick flowers to bring to a senior in a nursing home on GDD.
- Organize a toy drive and have your child donate one of his or her own and bring it to a community center on GDD.
- Put coins in a charity box for a family in need or to support animal rescue organizations
- Help clean up a park to make it nicer for kids to play in on GDD.
Ways to volunteer with elementary school kids
- Go to an animal shelter and play with, walk, or read to the puppies.
- Write a get-well card and deliver them to a hospital.
- Start a donation piggy bank and feed it every day. When it is full, talk about where to donate the funds and deliver them together.
- Help bake cookies to deliver to a local fire station on GDD.
- Collect and give out art supplies like markers, crayons, and coloring books for kids in homeless shelters.
Ways for middle school kids to volunteer
- Grow your hair for Locks of Love for children who lost their hair. Ask a local hair-cutting shop to run a program on GDD.
- Organize a car wash for a good cause in your school or local community. Have fun, get wet, and do a good deed at the same time.
- Start a pop-up library for books or toys in a community center for GDD. Design the sign on a computer and hang it up throughout your neighborhood.
- Plant or weed a community garden for GDD and beyond.
- Volunteer at a food bank with your youth group, school, or family. If you are in the US, you can find a local food bank on the Feeding America website.