Teaching charity to our children
There is no wrong time to teach our children about charity and volunteering! Here are some ideas to put the whole family in the charitable spirit.
Ideas for involvement
- Adopt a grandparent and visit a local nursing home. Newborns and toddlers can come along to provide company and lots of hugs. Older children can read with the residents and put on plays or skits.
- Volunteer to water or start a garden at a senior center.
- Organize a food drive in your neighborhood. Even small children can help deliver and collect bags.
- Many charities request local residents to send pledge sheets to the neighbors. Let the kids stamp, label and deliver the sheets.
- Organize a toy, book or clothing drive. Have the kids chip in by donating some of their unused toys and outgrown clothing.
- Help your children write letters and draw pictures to mail to the elderly or others in town who are not able to get out much.
- Volunteer to read to the blind. Let older children read while the younger ones cuddle and turn pages.
- Walk, brush, feed and clean pets at a rescue shelter.
- Spend some time volunteering at a food kitchen. Let the kids help fix plates and clear the tables.
- Work together to make baked goods as a donation to a church, community or charity fair.
- Collect change and/or bottle return money to donate to charity.
- Volunteer for Meals on Wheels and let the kids come along to help with deliveries. To find out how to volunteer at a Meals On Wheels program near you, call 1-888-MEAL HELP.
- Many shelters and food kitchens need drivers to pick up donations at markets and restaurants each day. Have the kids pitch in and help.
- Teach a class together. Senior centers, YMCAs and women shelters are very receptive to the help. Computer and Internet skills are always needed.
- Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Volunteers are need to build, paint, cook and serve food, watch children and much more. Sign up to receive Habitat's free newsletter for monthly updates.
- Encourage your children to donate one item off their Christmas or birthday wish list to a less fortunate child.
- Help your child donate a portion of his allowance and birthday money to the charity of his choice.
- Before all giving occasions (holidays, birthdays, etc) clean out the toyboxes and help your children donate toys to Goodwill.
- Instead of exchanging duplicate gifts -- donate one of the items to charity.
- Spend all or part of your holiday helping the Make A Wish Foundation or other charity. Make the day special for kids who wouldn't have a holiday celebration without them.
National Family Volunteer Day (November 20) is sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation.