We all want to raise kind humans. But with all the chaos and noise of daily life, sometimes it's tough to know if our kids are picking up on the most important stuff: compassion, generosity, empathy, humility.
My husband and I try to make this happen in the usual ways with our four kids. We read books, we tell them stories from our different faith traditions, we praise kind actions, and so on. And those things are great! But nothing compares to putting our values into action by volunteering together. They may not remember every book we read, or every story we tell, but they remember each time we've served alongside one another. Those moments matter.
Unfortunately, it's really hard to create those moments. Most volunteer opportunities are hard to find, even harder to schedule, and rarely are they inclusive of kids (let alone designed for them). And if our family's experiences are any indication, even when the stars align and we manage to get out of the house to volunteer together, a lot can still go wrong. New environments, tough questions about tough issues, different personalities and ages and abilities all bouncing off of each other while actually trying to do something productive... It's a lot to juggle.
I created Alltruists to give kids (and grown-ups!) a way to give back anytime, anywhere. Each box is themed around one big issue in the world and guides kids to engage with that issue in positive, meaningful ways.
There are four main parts to every box experience: kids LEARN about the issue at hand, CONNECT and build empathy with others' experiences, take ACTion through a special volunteer project designed with incredible nonprofit partners, and GIVE to charity through a $5 donation (included in the box) that kids can direct online. Boxes come every other month, and introduce a new issue each time, from homelessness to clean water to hunger to climate action and more.
My own journey of giving back began as a kid, and that's something I'll always be grateful for. Volunteering changed my heart, and set me on a path centered on service. Among other things, that path eventually led me to start Kiva, a nonprofit which has empowered millions of people around the planet.
Every person, big or small, can help make our world better. And everyone can start today!
Jessica Jackley & the Alltruists team