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Ways to Teach Your Kids How to Give Back to the Community

Learning to give back to the community and care for people is an important life skill. Help your kids grow in empathy and find joy in helping others.

Ways to Teach Your Kids How to Give Back to the Community

Giving back to the community can help your kids learn empathy and build life-long habits. There are so many ways for them to get involved. Read on for a few ideas to get you started and then get creative, find the needs in your community, and start meeting them. 

Let them see you doing it

Wondering how to teach your kids to give back? Kids are imitators. If they see you caring for people and giving back to your community, they'll be excited to get involved. Where possible, choose to serve the community in ways that your kids can see and get involved in. Talk to them about what you're doing and why. Read them children's books about helping the community. Tell them the stories of people who have sacrificed everything to help others. Let them see that this is important to you and then it'll be important to them too.

How can a kid help the community?

Kids are small, but that doesn't mean that they can't help their communities in meaningful ways. A lot of what you're doing in this stage is teaching them to give back. You teach them now, so that when they're older they can have an even bigger impact on their communities. The wonderful reality though, is that kids can contribute to their communities in meaningful ways right now. 

Donate clothes

Involve your children in the process of donating their clothes. It's quicker to get through the task without their help, but including them teaches them to think about people who are in need. Let them help you choose the clothes that need to be passed on. They can help you fold and pack them and even come with you to drop them off.

Donate toys

Some kids might happily part with their clothes, but donating toys can be on a totally different level for kids. It's important to remember that kids have actual emotional attachments to some toys. If your kid isn't ready to part with a toy, it's probably best not to force or guilt them into it. Let them choose another toy, or even spend some of their money to buy a toy for a child who's in need.

Volunteer to help at a sports event

Volunteering doesn't always need to be about helping people who are less fortunate or needy. Sometimes it's just about showing love for your community without expecting anything in return. Helping at a sporting event like a marathon can help your child learn to serve the people around them. They'll probably end up having the best time! Helping people feels good!

Volunteer at an animal shelter

Animal shelters always need help. Older children can help with day-to-day tasks, while younger children can usually tag along with a parent (or grandparent) who's volunteering. It's a great way to learn to be kind to animals and meet some new people at the same time. If your animal shelter doesn't allow kids to volunteer, then they can always help with some fundraising to buy food and other supplies.

Help an elderly neighbor

Teach your kids to spot the people around them who might need help. Helping with some gardening, housework or even heavy lifting can take the load off an elderly neighbor. If you don't know your neighbors well enough, then dropping off a small gift is a great icebreaker. Get the kids involved and bake some cookies or a home-cooked meal to spoil your neighbors!

Volunteer at a nursing home

Take your child along with you to volunteer at a nursing home. The residents will love the energy that a child brings and it's important for kids to be able to connect with people who are different from them. Before you go, try to make time to go over some guidelines with your child. If they're not used to being around older people, they might need to be reminded to be gentle or be ready to repeat themselves if people can't hear them. Talking about experiences beforehand can help kids feel confident in new environments. 

Help serve food to the hungry

Most towns and cities have a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. These places usually need volunteers to help with all sorts of tasks. Kids can get involved in serving or preparing food or even sorting donations. You'll probably need to go along too. Working together on something like this is a great way to bond with your kids and get to know them even better.

Find a community garden

Gardening is fun and rewarding. Getting involved in a community garden is a great way to give back, enjoy some time outdoors, and learn new skills. Your kids will learn to work hard and interact with people from the community. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty!

Choose age-appropriate options

Volunteering can put you into situations that are upsetting. Kids (and adults) aren't always emotionally equipped to handle seeing suffering and brokenness. Try to choose activities that are appropriate for your child and make yourself available to chat through any hard things that they come across. Thankfully there are so many great ways to get involved and make a difference in your community! Choose the ones that suit your child (and family) best and then watch them blossom and grow as they love the community around them!

Give me more ideas!

Save has some great ideas to help you raise kids who know how to live life well. Check out these self-care routines for kids, learn to limit screen time, or find out more about the sober curious movement.