Instilling children with positive values like being compassionate and helping others while they’re young is an excellent way to build up little world-changers. No one is too young to make a difference in this world, and encouraging children to be charitable at an early age can help nurture their natural inclination to be kind and help others. It sounds cliche, but kids are the future, and you as the adult have an opportunity to pour into them the change you’d like to see in the world.
It’s never too early to introduce youth to service opportunities, and it’s better to get them involved sooner than later. Are you looking for ways to engage your children in impactful projects in your community? Here are 7 ways you can help children make a difference in their communities and the world!
1. Prepare meals for displaced kids.
One in every 30 children in America is experiencing homelessness, which means there are over 2.5 million homeless children. Introducing your child to this fact first will show them that there are people in the world who are less fortunate than them and that it’s important to practice gratitude and help those in need. Prepare non-perishable meal kits or fresh meals at home, and hand them out to kids in need in the community.
2. Build a community garden.
Introduce youth and teens to the gratification of reaping a harvest! Get down and dirty, and create a community garden for your neighborhood. Growing your own food is a skill that everyone should learn, and community gardens are beneficial in areas that are considered food deserts. Do some research and find the best place to install a community garden, and then get to work!
3. Volunteer at the soup kitchen.
Helping out at the local food pantry or soup kitchen is a volunteer opportunity that’s great for young kiddos. It’s not labor-intensive, and soup kitchens could also use a helping hand, even if it’s a tiny one!
4.Help out around the house.
Your child doesn’t have to go into the world to make a difference because they can learn the value of being responsible and being helpful right at home. Whether it’s helping out in the kitchen or taking on more chores like cleaning the bathroom or taking out the trash, there’s something for kids of all ages to do at home. You can let the little one assist with baking or cooking an easy meal and advise older kids to step up to more tasks that need to be done at home.
5.Volunteer at senior homes.
Take children to spread some joy at senior homes! Seniors often deal with social isolation and bouts of loneliness, so having some company around is sure to put a smile on their faces. Bringing children along on visits to assisted living facilities can teach them the power of connecting with others that are different from themselves. Before you go, depending on the child’s age, you may want to talk to them and help them understand what seniors’ homes are and why people live there.
6. Clean up the local park.
Climate change has become an increasingly popular topic of discussion, and more people have become interested in changing their habits to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Help teach youth early on that we all have a responsibility to take care of our planet, and organizing a clean-up in a local park is an excellent way to show them that they can make a difference just by stepping up to the plate.
7. Find a cause they’re passionate about or interested in to support.
Listen to children and youth and find out what causes are close to their hearts. If they’re interested in animals, take them to an animal shelter to volunteer, or maybe they really like sports, and in that case, try to find a sports-related nonprofit to get connected with and volunteer there. Whatever it is that they’re into, there’s more than likely an organization out there that’s making a difference, and they’d love to have an extra helping hand.
Affirming our children and youth in their ability to make a difference in this world is the surest way to influence their future selves. No child is too young to lend a hand in their community or even at home. Inspire your children to be the change they want to see in the world and be a guiding force on their journey of making a difference.