The benefits of volunteering are endless at any age. But for children, giving back to the community can set the framework for a lifetime development of quality skills, meaningful life lessons, and a greater understanding of the world that gives them the determination to make a difference.
By volunteering, kids can learn valuable life skills from responsibility and leadership to problem-solving and communication.
They can also learn kindness, empathy and compassion from helping others. The experience will open their eyes to the world, and allow them to see it in a different way.
Getting kids started in volunteering at a young age is easy, and not only helps them and the community, but also your family as you bond while doing the work together. Here are some ideas of ways to volunteer together as a family:
Pick up trash in your community
Next time you’re on a walk in your neighborhood or on your next trip to the beach or park, take a few trash bags with you and pick up the trash in your surroundings. You can also separate recyclables to help the environment even more.
Afterwards, you can enjoy the rest of your family time and ask your kids what they learned from the experience. You can also tell them about the environmental benefits of picking up trash in their community.
Sign up for a family-friendly walk/run for a cause
Sit down and discuss causes that everyone in your family is passionate about, and sign up for walks or runs throughout the year that would benefit these causes. Do all the fundraising and train for these events together for added family bonding time.
At the event, walk or run together, cheering each other on. The challenge not only helps other people, but can help boost self-esteem and confidence in one another.
Help out a person in need with errands or chores
You never know when a neighbor, friend or family member may be going through a hard time and need a helping hand. They could be sick, grieving a loss or just need someone to talk to.
Help them with chores around the house like cooking, cleaning or yard work together. It may seem simple, but can make all the difference in someone’s life.
Turn spring cleaning into spring giving
Do your spring cleaning as a family, and have everyone set aside items they no longer need that are in good condition. Pack up the items and call The Salvation Army to pick up (or find a drop off bin near you). Explain to your kids how they are giving back to those in need.
These are just a few things you can do to volunteer with your kids, but the possibilities are endless. Brainstorm some more ideas to give back to the community together, and make volunteering a big part of your family. It may be one of the most rewarding experiences that your kids will cherish forever.