Volunteerism teaches basic character foundations to kids, and having them help other kids teaches them that people in need are really just like them. Here are seven ways kids can learn volunteering values like trustworthiness, respect, fairness, honesty, responsibility, citizenship and caring while helping other kids.
Parents have many organizations to choose from and are taking big steps toward raising kids to care. These volunteer organizations that cater to younger volunteers are preparing a generation to pave the way to a more tolerant and compassionate world.
You can contact one of the following organizations to help your family get involved in giving and caring in your community, and in your world.
Sixteen-year old Makenzie Snyder has touched the lives of an estimated 60,000 foster children over the last nine years. Snyder has been sending stuffed animal filled duffle bags to foster children since she was 7 years old. She says her mission is to cheer up foster kids who have no real family and no one to really care for them.
Kids Korps USA is a nonprofit youth volunteer organization that engages young people, ages 5 through 18, in community service. Kids Korps USA hopes to instill in America's youth the spirit of giving while providing valuable education in leadership and responsibility. They provide hands-on service to national and local nonprofits such as the Special Olympics, women's resource centers, homeless shelters, children's hospitals, senior centers and environmental projects.
Established a few years ago by 5th grader Zach Bonner, Little Red Wagon aims to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children. Zach started the foundation after hurricane Charlie hit Florida in 2004. He raises money through charity walks and different volunteer activities that local children can get involved in.
Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. Children can participate by growing, cutting and donating their hair. Locks of Love provides specific guidelines on their site regarding the types of hair that are accepted and how to donate.
Kids are encouraged to make the generous decision to give up a gift this holiday season and urge their families, friends and relatives to make a donation to Generation Cures instead. All donations fund life-saving research Children's Hospital Boston, making it possible to find new cures and treatments for suffering kids all over the world.
Starlight's StarPower program was created to showcase the power of young people who engage in meaningful community service to help other kids. StarPower participants use their own personal "star power" to brighten the lives of young people who are battling chronic illnesses, life-altering injuries and life-threatening diseases.
Youth Service America (YSA) improves communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people, ages 5-25, serving in substantive roles. Founded in 1986, YSA supports a global culture of engaged youth committed to a lifetime of service, learning leadership, and achievement. The impact of YSA's work through service and service-learning is measured in student achievement, workplace readiness, and healthy communities.
Parents are often looking for ways to spend quality time with their children. Giving our time freely to others as a family can be one of the richest forms of quality time we can offer. Even more, volunteering is free.