Volunteering with kids is something you may want to do but feel you just don’t have time for. Here are 10 ways you and the kids can volunteer today!
When talking about our dreams and visions for our children, my husband and I always come back to one core value we hope to instill… being grateful.
That’s why it’s so important to me to make sure that volunteering with kids in our community is something my little ones are familiar with. I want my kids to grow up happy and strong members of society, but I also want them to be kind and compassionate to the different types of people they may meet throughout their lives.
I have always had a strong heart for service and over the last couple years, it has taken many new forms which my children see. Helping others is something I want my children to always welcome. By including them in volunteering opportunities they can participate in now, even if they are just 3 and 6 years old, my hope is that it will come naturally for them to offer assistance and volunteer for things as they grow older.
Volunteering with Kids – 10 Ways You Can Volunteer Today!
There are so many different great ways to get involved with things at a community level, or even on a larger scale, if you’re so inclined. Here are some great ideas to incorporate volunteering into your child’s life!
1. Decorate or Write Cards for people in the military, in your local nursing home, or even for a neighbor who you know may be feeling blue. This is a great idea for the little kids in the family, too! There are many different organizations that would welcome the cards that your family could prepare, either for the holidays, Valentine’s Day, or just to let them know that people are thinking about them. What a wonderful act of kindness that would bring a smile to someone’s day in your community, or on the other side of the world!
2. Pack up boxes with much needed supplies to send to military. We have done this through our church a few times and it is always such a fun time to grow together as a community and plan what our service men and women need while they are serving our country. Kids can help to organize the items that come in and can help to split out what needs to go where. There are a ton of great non-profits who sponsor this type of service and you can check them out at places like Support Our Troops, USO Holiday Boxes, or Operation Gratitude!
3. Meals on Wheels is a great way to get the whole family involved in a service opportunity in your community! Not only can you prepare a nice, warm meal for someone who desperately needs one, but you also can take the kids with you to deliver it and provide some much needed companionship to someone who needs it. It’s a win-win!
4. Organize a food drive or coat drive through your school or church. This is something that someone or another in our community always gets the ball rolling on sometime throughout the year and I’m always more than happy to help in anyway I can. Year after year, the kids grow out of their old winter coats, hats, and snow pants, and it’s a great way for them to see what we are going to do with these items and how they will help other children in the community who need them so very much. Especially this time of the year, as all of these items about to head back into the closet for a few months! We have also taken shifts at the designated area for drop-offs in order to help gather the items and make sure they are put to use in the correct manner. The kids see how things add up and how the community can band together to help people in need, and it allows them to become more grateful for the things they may take for granted sometimes.
5. Take baked goods to a fire or police station to thank local service people. We did this with some friends once and it was SUCH a hit! Not only did my son get to “help” me do some baking, but when we set a designated time with our local fire department to drop the items off, the firefighters were MORE than happy to take the kiddos on a V.I.P. tour of the firehouse. And of course… that was just the coolest thing ever! The kids even got to hear a call come in to see what happened when someone was in trouble and needed help from the people trained to do it. It was a lot of fun!
6. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Volunteering doesn’t just have to be for all of the humans in your life. Don’t forget about our furry little friends who may need some help, too! Our local animal shelter is ALWAYS in need of having different items donated that they use to keep the shelter running smoothly, and they also love to have volunteers come in to help run the dogs or play with the kitties. The kids get to see a trunk full of goodies that we are giving to our furry friends and also get to see how they can help and be compassionate to animals in our lives, too.
7. Donate books they have outgrown to shelters. Local domestic abuse shelters or different homeless and warming shelters GREATLY appreciate these types of donations to help the young children who may find themselves spending time inside their walls.
Once a year we go through the different books we have to see what the kids may want to donate to other children who aren’t as fortunate as they are. I know my 6-year-old was really into it this last summer and was happy he was helping out another child, even if he didn’t know who it was going to be.
8. S.A.F.E. is such a wonderful organization where you can donate gently used stuffed animals to local fire shelters to give to children affected by an emergency. I find this to be such a wonderfully compassionate way to help those in dire need at their lowest after losing everything that they possibly own, that it is something I am personally looking into bringing into not only my community, but my state. Being involved in something at the ground level can be such an inspiration for the littles in our life, not to mention a way to bring awareness to something as big as children affected by an emergency into my community in a different light.
9. Donate toys from birthday parties to a local children’s hospital. A couple years ago for my son’s 4th birthday party, we determined pretty early that we were going to request guests to bring something for a good cause. This boy has absolutely EVERYTHING he needs and I just couldn’t fathom getting more “stuff” to find a place for around our home.
After talking to our son and giving him a few options, we decided on donating toys to a local children’s hospital in our area. The hospital only accepts certain items, so we sent out the list with the invitations and everyone was SO generous. After everything was said and done, my son and I went to the hospital to drop off the donations and he was in heaven with all of the praise and high-fives he got from the staff at the hospital! He talked about it for weeks!
10. Stuff backpacks with school supplies for kids in need. Our local community has a “Stuff The Bus” event at the end of each summer that we participate in for the kids in our community who don’t have the means to get all of the school supplies they need for the upcoming school year. It’s always a great event and the kids get excited about all of the “school shopping” we get to do beforehand! And while we’re doing that shopping, I’m explaining who we are getting the items for and why. It’s a wonderful community event for our local school districts!
Enforcing strong character traits is something I always want to foster in my kids. Encouraging random acts of kindness in our everyday lives is a big thing I always try to demonstrate with my children and I know they are always going to look to me on how they view volunteering when they are adults.
Still wondering if there are different ways you can volunteer in your area? Check out Seek Volunteer and see if you can find local volunteering needs in your community. There are always things we can do to help! 🙂
Have you done fun and inspiring volunteering days with your kids that turned out great for everyone? Comment below to tell us about them.