As a parent, it’s important to help your child understand the importance of giving back and helping others from an early age. However, it can be tough to find ways to help them grasp this concept when you consider many traditional volunteer opportunities, like helping at food banks or sorting clothing donations, are often restricted to older helpers.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways your children can volunteer – from the comfort of your own home! Believe it or not, you can help your child grasp the concept of volunteering and help those in need without leaving the house. Not quite sure what that looks like? Here are just a few inspiring ways your kids can volunteer and make an impact from home:
Make blankets. If your child is old enough to use scissors or tie a knot, they can help make blankets to donate to Project Linus. This organization is on a mission to help children who are seriously ill, victims of trauma, or otherwise in need find comfort and warmth through the donation of a handmade blanket. While you can knit, quilt, crochet, or sew blankets to donate, you and your child can easily work together to assemble fringed fleece blankets. Call local fabric shops to see if they have any fleece to donate – many will gladly help out when they know it’s going to a good cause!
Create cards for children in hospitals. Even if your child hasn’t been hospitalized, they probably understand how scary it must be to be sick and to spend so much time away from home. Writing cards to encourage or inspire these children can be a wonderful way to give back and volunteer from home. Pull out the construction paper, crayons and craft supplies and create a card that’s sure to brighten the day of anyone who receives it. You can work through a charity like Cards for Hospitalized Kids or Cardz for Kids, or you can contact your nearest hospital directly to see what they’ll accept.
Gather things to donate. Dozens of charities accept donations of clothes and toys for kids. Help your child go through their closet and dresser to see what still fits and what doesn’t. You can go through a similar exercise with your child’s toys and ask them to pick out a few things they don’t play with much anymore. They might have a hard time parting with toys, but if you can help them understand just how happy it’s going to make another child who isn’t as fortunate as they are, they’ll begin to realize the impact their generosity makes.
Write letters to soldiers abroad. Another great way to give back and make an impact year-round is to send an uplifting letter to a member of the armed forces. Deployment can be lonely, and a comforting letter to show appreciation for their service can make a world of difference when things get tough. Sit down with your child and help them find the right words – or, if they’re old enough, let them craft their own message. There are dozens of organizations like A Million Thanks that can help your letters reach soldiers who will appreciate them.
From creating cards and blankets to parting with unneeded personal items, there are plenty of ways for your little ones to volunteer from home. Do you know of any other at-home volunteer opportunities kids can take advantage of? If so, leave a comment and let me know!