Sometimes, the problems of the world seem too big and overwhelming. Imagine how these problems must appear to our kids. How do we engage our kids in a manner that encourages them to help out in their community? Getting your child to participate in community help projects gives a positive spin to a lot of the problems we all see each day and, of course, helps work towards solving these problems.
1. Start At Home
The best place to start is home. A simple and easy way to show your child how easy it is to help is to have a purposeful purge day at home. Go through closets, drawers, garages and attics and think about not just what you don’t need, but what someone else needs. What is sitting in the back of your child’s closet untouched that might bring joy to another child?
The key is to not think of it as cleaning out your stuff, but to think of it as finding ways to let others use what you don’t. You can even show the kids how it’s done by donating an old vehicle to Newgate School, which uses the cars to help teach low income adults how to repair and restore old vehicles for a future career.
2. Thoughtful Giving
If your child receives an allowance, you might think about teaching your child not only good spending habits, but also good giving habits. Divide your child’s allowance into two or three envelopes, one of them marked “giving”. Talk to your child about how important charitable giving is for so many community charities. Then use your child’s interests to help guide you to the right charity that your child can save for and donate to.
3. Birthday Giving
There’s a trend happening lately with kids’ birthdays. Kids all over are using their birthdays as a way to get donations for their favorite charity. The premise is simple: when sending invites for your child’s party, insert a note that says, “In lieu of presents, Dylan would like you to bring donations for the local animal shelter.” Some parents take it a step farther and take the kids on a trip to make the donation during the party. Not only have you engaged your own child, but their friends as well.
Nothing is more engaging than meeting people face to face. Volunteer at a food closet and bring your child with you to assemble meal kits or hand donations out. Seeing who you are helping always makes quite an impact. It’s always great to show kids that they can help at a very grassroots level with just their two hands. You can also join community organizations in your particular area so you don’t have to do the leg work, just show up and help out.
Teaching your children the joy of giving early in their lives can become a solid foundation for future charitable efforts. They will learn their connection to the wider community, and work toward the benefit of all.