The best way to teach children good values is to demonstrate them. We cannot simply expect our children to develop them without a little bit of encouragement, or setting an example for them to follow. The best way that you can do this is by providing simple but meaningful service for the community.
Showing your kids how to serve their community teaches them that they should not only live for themselves, but that they should give back to others. This is especially important when it comes to learning how to give without expecting to receive anything in return.
You don’t always need to do something official, but you can do a lot of small-scale activities as a family that will have a big impact. Some of the ways for kids to volunteer could be having a garage sale, donating to a charity, or running errands for neighbors who are elderly or who simply need help.
Best Volunteering Ideas for Children
There are many different children volunteer opportunities in community and society. Here are some great ways to teach your kids how to help others. You can choose which one suits your family best!
1. Visit a Nursing Home
Old people in nursing homes don’t always have families who can visit them often, so it is one of the best places kids can volunteer. To have a family with little children visiting them will bring them a lot of joy. You can play card games, tell stories, ask them to teach you something they are good at and teach them something new as well, and simply talk and listen to their advice.
2. Volunteer at an Animal Centre
If you have older kids, you can take them to volunteer at the animal shelter. Sometimes, it can just be walking dogs, or helping to clean out their cages. If your kids are too young for that, you can always make dog toys as an art and craft project, and give them to the shelter for free.
3. Clean Litter on the Streets
This is quite a kid-friendly volunteer opportunity. You can take the children around the neighborhood or the local park, pick up litter, and segregate it into recyclables and non-recyclables.
4. Help Out the Neighbors
If you know someone who is sick or could use some help with daily chores, volunteer to do it with the kids. This could be in the form of doing grocery runs, looking after the lawn or garden, and helping to keep the house clean for an elderly neighbor. You can even cook for them. This can even be done for someone who is sick.
5. Help Out at the Community Food Shelter
You can raise funds, so that you can purchase food for the shelters, or directly volunteer by helping to serve or set the tables. Cleaning up is also something that you and the family can volunteer to do.
6. Help Immigrants
You and the family can volunteer to be welcome friends to those who are new to the country or state. Help them to find their way around, and to settle in. You can offer assistance by helping them find jobs for themselves, and schools for their children as well.
7. Raise Service Dogs
You don’t really need to raise more than one, but you can choose to volunteer to raise at least one such animal. This means you will need to take in a puppy that has the right temperament for the job. You and the kids will then need to learn how to train the dog. It is a big commitment that lasts around two years, but it is something that provides a big service for those who need these dogs to help them in their daily lives.
8. Adopt a Rescue Pet
9. Help Brighten the Community
You can plant flowers or other beautiful plants in your community park, so that it becomes more pleasant and beautiful for everyone to spend time there.
10. Make Thank-You Notes
Those who work as police officers, soldiers, and firemen risk their lives for others. Have your child make notes, thanking them for their service. You can do the same for those who do daily necessary jobs, but get absolutely no recognition for what they do for the community. This could be garbage collectors, cashiers, cleaners, etc.
11. Donate Personal Items
Children grow fast, outgrowing clothes and shoes pretty quickly! Their old clothes can be donated to the less fortunate. Have your children help out by asking them to pick out items such as old toys and clothes, to give to other children who need them.
12. Set Up a Collection Centre for Coats
Approach neighbors, friends, and family, or spread the word through social media, that you are collecting coats to give to the homeless or underprivileged.
13. Set Up Bird Feeders and Bird Baths
As cities and towns expand, nature slowly disappears. Wild birds sometimes cannot find food and water easily. By setting up bird feeders and bird baths, you can help these birds to survive and even thrive!
14. Visit Children’s Hospitals
Some children are seriously ill, and need to spend a lot of time in the hospital. By taking your children to visit them, they will be able to enjoy the company of others their own age, and treat them with love and kindness. During the holiday season, you can take a bag of gifts, and have your kids distribute them to the sick children.
15. Walk or Run Against Disease
There are many organized walks or runs that are used to bring awareness to a certain disease. Many will donate the earnings to hospitals where patients for the particular disease are being treated, or to researchers who are working to find cures. Older kids can walk on their own, but if you are volunteering with toddlers, you can take a stroller. It doesn’t need to be competitive, and the whole family can participate.
16. Befriend the Mentally Disabled
You can find out from a local treatment centre if you can be matched with someone who is mentally disabled. If you are choosing an adult, make sure that you ask for someone who is friendly with children. You can include this person in family events, or visit with them regularly, and make them feel loved during the holiday season.
17. Offer Lifts
One way to introduce your kids to the practice of being kind is to have them accompany you as you take the elderly or sick to and from their appointments at the doctor or the stores. It is a simple act of kindness that can mean so much to the recipient.
18. Make an Activity Box
For young preschoolers, a great art and craft project to do with them is to make activity boxes. These boxes can then be donated to little children at the local hospital.
19. Stock Library Shelves
Take the kids with you to the local library, and volunteer to shelve books.
20. Have a Bake Sale for Charity
Set up a stall where you and the kids sell home-baked goods and lemonade. You can donate everything that you earn to a charity.
As with most things, children need to learn the importance of giving, of reaching out a helping hand, and that there is happiness to be found in doing good things for others. Don’t be afraid to get them involved in community activities!