We all want to raise kids that are invested in their community, care about the people around them, and are motivated to give back. Especially during this time of year, many families are looking for ways to serve in their neighborhood. And we know that volunteering at a young age has many benefits, like teaching tolerance, providing new perspectives, increasing empathy, and building teamwork.
But it’s not always easy to find volunteer opportunities that are appropriate for the whole family. Our friends at Honeycomb Project are sharing a few kid-friendly tips for giving back in your own community this holiday season.
Ask your kids what causes they’re passionate about.
Your children will be more invested in community service if they can get involved in something they’re interested in. Ask them what kinds of causes are most important to them, and search for volunteer opportunities that align with those interests. Maybe they’ve noticed homeless people in your community and want to help, or have encountered a bully at school and want to spread kindness to others. Find out what their passions are and go from there.
Search for opportunities that align with your family’s interests.
What does your family already enjoy doing together? If you spend a lot of time outdoors, picking up litter in your neighborhood park might be for you. Or if you can’t get enough of your family pets, volunteering at a local animal shelter is right up your alley. And if you’re always cooking together, you might enjoy working at a nearby soup kitchen. Let the things you already love doing together guide your search.
Consider your children’s ages.
Not all community service is created equal. Think about what volunteer opportunities are most appropriate for your family depending on how old your kids are. Younger children might enjoy visiting a nursing home, or adopting a family and helping pick out gifts. Older kids could help organize a food drive, serve meals at a homeless shelter, or host a bake sale for a good cause.
Don’t make it a one-time thing.
Lots of non-profit organizations are swamped with interested volunteers around the holidays and then are left high and dry in January. Once your family finds something they enjoy doing together, make it a habit! Ask about recurring volunteer opportunities so that your family can continue to give back throughout the year.
This post is sponsored by The Honeycomb Project. One of the few organizations dedicated to family volunteering, Honeycomb works in partnership with more than 45 non-profit organizations to craft high-impact service projects focused on specific areas of need. Mobilizing kids and parents in inspiring settings, we lay the foundations for new generations of active, informed citizens.