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When I was growing up, children were volunteering all the time, but we did not realize it. It was part of our upbringing to give back to the community. If we saw someone who needed help, we did it. As parents we need to model volunteering and encourage children to volunteer. If children begin volunteering at a young age, I hope that they will part of their life throughout adulthood. Also they will have no problem fulfilling the volunteering section of some college applications. There are many opportunities around, pick one for you and your child that appeals to an interest they have or simply one that you notice in your everyday routine.
Couponing! – Children Volunteering to Help the Needy
Many families are couponing now to save money for their family. Your local shelters and charitable organizations can also benefit from your couponing. The next time you go on a personal care couponing trip take your children with you. They can help you pick out items that can be donated to your local shelter. Items that they often need are travel deodorants, shampoos, conditioners, shaving items, feminine care items, dental products, and soap. After you and your child have purchased these (often you can pick them up for free or next to free with coupons) you can go together to donate them to an organization that will put them to good use.
Bow Wow! – Children Volunteering with Animals
Many children love animals. Animal shelters are always in need of help. Even young children can help by collecting or creating items that the shelter needs. Shelters can use pet toys, treats, food, and bedding. If children volunteer for the shelter when they are young, they may be able to work closer with the animals when they are teenagers or young adults.
Brighten Their Day! – Children Volunteering with the Elderly
Many elderly care centers would welcome some children volunteering. Some of the simplest things that you and your child can do is create holiday decorations for the residents. They can often use door decorations for each room. Even the youngest children can help with these crafts. Take your child along when you distribute the decorations and they will experience the reward of many delighted smiles. Your nursing home may also give you the name of a resident that your family can ‘adopt’. These residents are often ones who receive little or no visitors. Your child could share their accomplishments with someone who will have a listening ear and your family can provide a few smiles for the resident. If you ‘adopt’ a grandparent, do not forget to pick them up a few items for their birthday or Christmas.
These are a few items to get you started with your children volunteering. There are others that can be found in your local community. Many papers feature a section that highlights opportunities each week. Soup kitchens and food banks have been especially needy lately so that may be another opportunity for children volunteering. Always remember that volunteering may not pay money but its rewards are great.
Don’t forget to help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.
About the author
I am Janelle. I am currently a SAHM of my two daughters, ages 12 and 16. I also have a step son, age 17. My step daughter is 20 and is away at college but still comes home to raid our refrigerator on occasion. I have a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, and also am currently studying for my cosmetology license. I believe that the most important thing any mother or father can do is be active in their child(ren)’s life.