“What about my younger kids?”
“What can we do as a family to help give back to the world?”
“We don’t have time to commit to a long project, what else can we do?”
These are just a few of the questions I’ve received since I started my Kids Boost adventure. And boy do I understand. As I mentioned in Part One of this blog, there are so many things you can do to introduce philanthropy and generosity into your child’s life. Here are 9 more ways to give back… simple, fun and most importantly, impactful!
- Adopt a family in need around the holidays and involve the kids in the shopping. Explain why your family is helping the other family and allow them to take part in the selection of toys or clothes. Also, allow them to help wrap the gifts and be a part of the delivery.
- When buying school supplies, allow the child to buy duplicates of a few items to donate to his school or to a shelter.
- Donate old toys, clothes and movies to shelters or organizations in the community. Be sure to actively let the child participate.
- Have a family Random Acts of Kindness Day. Spend the day making people smile – in little or big ways. Drop off water to construction workers, pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant, drop off notes of love and thanks to your neighbors, open doors for strangers, compliment people, pick up trash at a park… the options are endless but make for a fun day of loving others.
- Host a give-back party in lieu of a birthday party or holiday party. Allow the child to choose the charity or organization that will benefit from the party. Get the child involved in the planning of the event and get them excited about what you are doing. This could be something as simple as “in lieu of gifts, please donate a new video game for a Children’s Hospital.” Or you could also plan a dog themed party and have the kids make dog treats for the local animal shelter and ask everyone to bring a bag of dog food to be donated. Again, the options are endless, but try to focus on your child’s interests so he or she will really get excited about the idea.
- Volunteer together. Spend the afternoon raking leaves for a neighbor or making a meal for a family going through a tough time. Go to the park and clean up trash before you play. Sign up to sort can goods at a local food bank. Volunteer to babysit together in the church nursery. Cheer on the runners in a charity 5K race. Find something that the whole family can do that will make a difference.
- Create cards and care packages for our military.
- Create a family “Giving Box” where throughout the year everyone contributes money, toys or household other items. When the box is full, deliver the box to a local shelter. Again, always involve the children in the actual donating of the items.
- Write thank you notes to the custodians, cafeteria workers, front desk staff, school nurse and other important people in your child’s school. These are the staff who don’t always receive the thanks and love they deserve.
So why not introduce one of these ideas today? Let us know how it goes… send pictures or comments. Help us inspire other parents. Just a small act of kindness can go a long way!