Volunteering, especially at a young age, has an abundance of health benefits on the mindset of the volunteer as well as their physical health.
Service opportunities teach kids essential skills like long-term planning, how to work with a group, how to interact with a diverse demographic, and an increased ability to define and solve complex problems.
When volunteering is practiced as a family, children are more likely to accept giving back as an important part of their lives. If you want your child to value volunteering at a later age, making the commitment to regularly volunteer as a family is an important key.
Decide if your family will volunteer for a one-time cause or a repeat organization. One-time projects allow children to discover what they enjoy and don’t enjoy doing whereas a repeat organization allows kids to establish a routine volunteering pattern.
Best Volunteer Opportunities for Kids
While there are countless ways young children can give back to their communities, here are some easily accessible ideas:
• Donate to a food pantry. Have your child pick out one food item every time you go to the grocery store. After collecting a few items, take your child to a food pantry and allow them to donate their food.
• Walk to fight disease. Take your child to a walk that raises money and awareness for organizations and causes that raise money for disease research.
• Make and distribute gift boxes or care packages. You and your child can fill boxes with snacks, candy, games or clothes and donate them to homeless shelters or children’s hospitals.
• Visit a patient at a nursing home. Many elderly individuals are lonely and want a friend to keep them company. Your child will brighten their day and gain experience working with elderly individuals.
• Volunteer at an animal shelter. Your child can better the lives of abandoned cats or dogs while also learning how to interact with animals.
• Deliver Meals on Wheels. Take your children around town delivering hot meals or care packages to the homeless or starving families.
• Clean up trash from your neighborhood or local park. Arguably the easiest way to volunteer. You and your child can go for a walk and remove any litter you see lying around the community.
Source: Project Bold Life