When we make service work a normal part of our lives we not only teach our children strong core values, we demonstrate these values in action.
Resolve to make a difference in your community this year.
The benefits are enormous.
Volunteering teaches even toddlers and preschoolers about compassion, empathy, tolerance, gratitude, and community responsibility.
And children who volunteer are more likely to continue doing so as adults.
Volunteer ideas for you and the kids
- Regularly visit a “grandfriend” at a nursing home, assisted living facility, or in the neighborhood. Play card games, do crafts together, teach each other new skills, make up stories, exchange advice, and build a real connection.
- Donate food to a food pantry. Have your child pick out one item each time you go to the market. When you get a bagful, take it to a local food pantry.
- Clean up. Pick up litter at a local park or while you take a walk in the neighborhood.
- Share story time. Read your child’s favorite books to children in the hospital. Or collect books for children in the hospital and deliver to them.
- Have kids draw special pictures. Use these as wrapping paper. Place wrapped candy, silk flowers or trinkets, along with a note like “thanks for being kind”, or “you made my day” in the paper. Keep these notes in your car, or diaper bag etc and when you’re out together, stay on the lookout for a nice cashier, server, librarian, or kind person to give them away. It cues kids to see goodness everywhere.
- See if your local food shelter will let families work together to set tables, serve beverages, and clean up.
- Welcome new neighbors on your street, block with a small gift (houseplant or plate of cookies).
- Make treats and deliver them to your local police or fire station.
- Let your little ones greet sanitation workers or mail carrier. Offer them cold water or popsicles.
- Become a volunteer puppy raiser. This commitment can be from 6 months to 2 years. Here’s an example:
If you already have some cool volunteer ideas, please share. I love when we live out loud together.