Volunteering is one great way of helping others and fostering a sense of community. Some people do this later in life when they find that they finally have a surplus of time, but it’s a good idea to instill a sense of community stewardship early in children. While there are many ways to give back, the coronavirus has radically changed volunteering over the last few months. Measures implemented to keep people healthy and safe from infection have in turn had a devastating impact on volunteer programs. Just because these programs are postponed doesn’t mean that the need for help has ceased; in fact, the need for help has never been greater especially in these times of crisis.
The activity of volunteering may prove to be even more beneficial to children right now because it helps them to regain a sense of control in their lives amid a time that is rife with uncertainty. Working together on a service project is one way to empower families. Take a look below at some ideas to get your kids involved in the community.
Not all forms of service need to be grand gestures. Even a simple random act of kindness is enough to brighten someone’s day. Cheerful images drawn with sidewalk chalk on the driveway can uplift the spirits of passersby. You want to make sure that volunteering is something that your kids want to do so that they can get the most out of it. Gauge their interests and find out what they’re passionate about. Use this as a starting point and then reach out to local organizations that are working on those issues. They will likely have ways for your kids to help, whether by raising awareness or helping to raise funds.
Not everyone feels the most comfortable in social situations, and some display an affinity for animals. For those who prefer the company of a furry friend, you can make volunteering part of your daily life by fostering rescue animals. Lauren Lipsey, vice president of community programs at the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, D.C. says that kids who learn to take care of animals and spend time with them are developing lifelong skills. Fostering may not work out for every family, but there are still other ways to get involved such as rounding up pet supplies for donation.