Simple Volunteer Ideas To Do With Kids
There are many reasons to volunteer: It helps your community, improves the lives of others, and ultimately makes the world a better place. Passing on the passion of volunteering to the younger generation, however, is often tricky because not every volunteer effort is a child-friendly activity. If you’re looking for low-commitment volunteer day ideas that are good to do with kids, try these out:
- Packing lunches for soup kitchens. If you want kids to appreciate the fact that they enjoy three meals a day and to be able to empathize with those who do not, then packing lunches for a soup kitchen is a great option. Contact your local soup kitchen to see its rules and regulations; the Homeless Shelter Directory is a great resource for finding kitchens in your local area. Many soup kitchens accept packed lunches, which means that you can go shopping with kids and let them help prepare lunches. Not only does this teach them how to pack together a quick lunch, it also teaches a valuable lesson about hunger in your community.
- Help your local park. Reach out to your parks & recreation department, and see how you can give back. Offer up ideas, such as picking up trash, repainting benches, and helping with a community garden. Taking care of the environment and keeping the neighborhood clean is good for the community and the planet. It can be a good, environmentally charged teaching opportunity for the younger generation by showing them the work involved in respecting and taking care of the environment. The U.S. National Park Service offers a directory of parks looking for volunteer help. Visit your city or town’s parks & recreation department for local volunteer initiatives.
- DIY volunteer day. It takes only a small amount of planning to set up a volunteer initiative for a day. Organizing a coat drive during the winter, for example, can be achieved simply by sending out an email to your social network asking for coats and blankets, setting up a drop-off time/location, and talking to a local shelter or One Warm Coat to see how and when you can donate the items. Some dry cleaners also have coat donation programs that you can help with. Involve the kids in brainstorming how to spread the word. Ask them to help compose the letters and pick up the donated goods. Not only does this teach kids basic planning skills, but it will also show them how to embrace responsibility.
However much time you have to give, there’s always something you can do to help others. You may need to contact a few organizations to find the one that’s right for kids, but there are plenty of opportunities to for you to make your world a better place and teach children how to make volunteering a part of their lives.
By: Susmita Baral
Image source: Flickr