Just like nutrition and a love for reading, the earlier we introduce our kids to helping others, the more likely they are to continue this good behavior as adults. The benefits of volunteering with your kids are enormous. These generous acts teach children about empathy, compassion, tolerance and social responsibility. It’s fun and easy to do.
My company created a volunteering opportunity called 7 Day, which is a monthly volunteering program. 7 Day allows people around the country to organize volunteer events with the assistance of a bigger organization, Project 7. My five-year-old daughter has attended a few and is learning about volunteering and how fun it can be.
Volunteering is a great way to bond with your kids. Here’s how to get started:
- Contact some local volunteer organizations to see what age appropriate options they have.
- After selecting an opportunity, explain to your child what they will be doing and how it will help another person. Be honest and clear.
- Above all else, make it fun. This will help create good volunteering habits in your children and help them look forward to the next time.
And, there are a number of ways to get involved. Here are a few ideas to help get you going:
- Donate/Volunteer at a local food pantry – Many food pantries have back pack programs that help make sure kids get to eat throughout the weekend.
- Visit a nursing home and hand out hugs – This can make all of the difference in an elderly person’s day.
- Take Storytime to a local hospital – Take your child and read to sick children at a local hospital.
Need more ideas? Some great sites that offer information on volunteering opportunities are:
You won’t believe the difference this can make in your child. Don’t make this a one-time thing. Try to set up a monthly volunteering date with your kids. Children that volunteer know that every little bit helps and that they can truly be part of changing their world for the better.
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