Volunteering has incredible benefits for children, whether it be used to better understand social issues or actively participate in the community they live in. It’s a way for kids to make connections about the world around them, fostering immense emotional growth and compassion that can transform them into future changemakers. Here are five volunteering activities for kids and families to utilize and experience new ways for them to do good in the world.
Organize a Food Drive
Imagine a child having little to no food to eat, going through the entire day hungry and tired. We all need food to survive. Unfortunately, there are 12.5 million children in America who don’t have access to healthy and nutritious food on a regular basis. Organizing a food drive through school and student organizations is a great way to collect and distribute food to food banks, where contributions will go directly to families in need. Food banks are always in need of pantry basics, such as canned food and juices, and remember to donate only unexpired foods.
Volunteer at a Homelessness Shelter
Think about your house, and everything that it provides. From having a place to sleep to feeling safe, the home is where the heart is. However, families and kids experiencing homelessness don’t have a place of their own, and it can be a struggle to complete day-to-day activities such as cooking, showering, and sleeping. Kids can volunteer at homeless shelters and help with many different activities, whether that be serving food, giving toys, and cleaning up after events. This can help teach them how they can help those most vulnerable, giving them new perspectives on both the local community and world around them.
Donate Extra Items to Nonprofits
Do you have clothes that your kids have outgrown? What about toys that they don’t play with anymore? Look across your house to find things you could give away to those in need, and make collecting all unused items into a fun scavenger hunt and game! After gathering all of these items together, donate them to a local nonprofit that will give the items to families who might not have the means to purchase everyday necessities.
Participate in a Community Cleanup
Our earth is so beautiful and deserves the best. That’s why both individual and community cleanups are a great way to engage directly impact your local environment. When you take your child out on a walk through a local playground or trail, bring a bag with you and teach your kids to identify and pick up trash. Make sure they understand which pieces of trash can be recycled. At school, help your child organize class efforts to maintain sections of roads where you can pick up litter left behind. Doing this can help many other students see the impact that trash can have on their community and encourage them to protect our environment through mindful habits.
Assist Animal Shelters
We love our furry friends, but what happens when an animal doesn’t have a home? Many of those who have gone stray and abandoned end up in animal shelters. These animal shelters give animals a space to have food, water, and protection from the outdoors, and they’re a great place for potential owners to adopt their next best friend. For your animal-loving child, take them there to volunteer and walk dogs, clean up, refill water bowls, and much more! Consider giving food sources, such as extra dog and cat food and toys that will keep animals entertained. Or go visit all of the amazing animals that could soon become a new member of your family!
These are just some of the many resources that kids and families of all backgrounds can engage with. We recommend also looking at volunteering websites such as VolunteerMatch and Kids That Do Good, or checking out some of our products to learn more about the social issues you care about. That way, we can help to raise even more kind humans that will help shape the future.