Volunteering is a great way to give your child perspective and teach them
to be generous, caring individuals. Give your child a sense of community
and social responsibility through volunteering.
Volunteering helps to create well rounded individuals and encourages them
to be grateful for the fortunate circumstances of their own lives. Volunteering
should be fun, so take care to choose an activity that suits your child’s
interests and age. Volunteering does not have to be emotionally draining
either; every small act of kindness is usually met with such positive
feedback that your child’s confidence and self image will be bolstered
by the experience. Volunteering teaches your children responsibility and
commitment and makes them feel needed. Holidays are an especially good
time to spread the spirit of the season through helping others. There
are many activities to choose from.
Many children live in circumstances that render it unlikely that they will
receive gifts for Christmas. Get your children to donate toys to a worthy
cause. Most toy drives take toys up until January or February for the
next Christmas. You can get your child to donate some of the toys they
got for Christmas to the toy drive. Your children can also ask family
members to donate money that they would have spent on Christmas and birthday
gifts to a charity of their choice. Your child can help to sort and label
or wrap toys for distribution or they can work with teachers and classmates
to organize a school toy drive.
Most shelters appreciate volunteers who can walk the dogs every day. This
will be a great way for your children to get some exercise while learning
more about pets. If you have no shelter near you, your children can offer
to walk pets for the elderly residents in your neighbourhood.
If your children enjoy the outdoors, contact your local municipality for
parks or trails that need to be cleaned. Your children can go on hikes
and pick up trash as they go. This will not only help to beautify your
area, it also helps to protect wildlife.
Food banks need volunteers to sort food, check expiry dates and make up
food packages. Kids can also collect coupons from newspapers and magazines
to help food banks stretch their budgets. Work with schools or other community
institutions to collect food for foods banks, especially over the festive season.
A study by the Search Institute found that children who volunteer for one
hour a week are 50% less likely to use drugs, alcohol or cigarettes. Volunteering
is also a great activity to do together as a family. Encourage your children
to volunteer and spread some joy this festive season.