You may not know this, but the fourth week in August is actually the “Be Kind to Humankind” week! Then, you may wonder: what does being kind to humankind even mean? That’s a great question. Being kind to humankind can mean small acts of niceness, service projects, taking care of one another, and even taking care of the Earth. There are many opportunities to volunteer as an adult, but what can kids do to lend a helping hand? Keep reading to find ideas for kid-friendly volunteer activities that are great for the whole family!
Get Involved with Kid-friendly Volunteer Activities
1. Participate in a community clean up.
One way that younger and older children can both get involved is through a community clean up! Many times, communities will organize a day to pick up litter, trash, and otherwise improve the look of the community. Keep an ear out for one of these happening in your community, and sign you and your child up to help!
2. Help members of your community with Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat for Humanity has specific programs for youth volunteers, and they even say they have opportunities for people from five years old to forty years old! Rules and availability may vary based on location, but often times, older children can volunteer along with a parent. You can find your local Habitat for Humanity here and inquire with your local chapter.
3. Make a “Grandfriend!”
Visit a local nursing home, retirement community, or assisted living care with your child to help show them the value of just spending time with people. Some people in these homes have no families or families who do not visit often. Call around to your local communities to see if they have special days meant specifically for children to visit. Encourage your child to make cards (holiday cards or “just because” cards) for the residents before you visit for an extra bit of kindness!
4. Donate toys and other items.
Your child may have a lot of toys they have outgrown. While some kids may be hesitant to part with any of their “stuff,” having your child help you sort through toys and clothes and explaining how it helps people can be a great way to “be kind to humankind.” Find a Goodwill, Salvation Army, a local homeless shelter, or another local organization that accepts donations.
5. Help out at your local animal shelter.
Animal shelters are a great way to instill a love of volunteering into your child. Your local shelters will usually set the age range required to volunteer, and exceptions can usually be made for kids under the required age if their parents volunteer with them! This can be a great opportunity to volunteer with your children. Use this animal shelter search from Petfinder that has a database of about 14,000 shelters across America.
6. Gather gifts to give.
Many families can’t afford holiday gifts or school supplies. To help, you can get your child involved with making a pack, whether it’s a holiday present box or a backpack filled with school supplies. This is a great task for both younger children and teens! Children will have fun picking out toys and supplies for others. Check around local organizations, online, and even social media to find a toy or school supply drive.
7. Explore campaigns on well-known volunteer websites.
There are many resources for teens who want to get involved. For example, DoSomething has a ton of campaigns that focus on varying issues, giving teens and young people (ages 13-25) an easy way to organize and make an impact. Find out more about DoSomething here.
Another great resourse is generationOn, the youth division of a larger volunteer community, Points of Light. On the website, you’ll find information about days of service, resources to start or join clubs (either adults leading children, or teens to make their own clubs!), and campaigns.
8. Start a project based on your specific community’s needs.
America’s Promise Alliance has a Power of Youth challenge in which teens (13-18) plan a community project, budget for it, and can receive a grant to make it happen. Encourage your child’s siblings and friends to participate to make a team! Find out more about the Power of Youth challenge here. If you or your child need a little more guidance, we have a previous post that discusses how to start service projects!
What do you think of these kid-friendly volunteer activities? Have you found a great way to get kids involved in helping out? Let us know in the comments below!
Author: Brenna Waugaman, Writer and Teacher at A Grade Ahead
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