Engaging in volunteer activities has been shown to improve everything from physical health to mental well-being. Getting children involved in volunteering early is a great way to introduce them to all of the benefits of giving back. In addition, many young people are encouraged or required to engage in volunteer or community service activities for school, membership in groups like the National Honor Society, or religious education programs.
Even as we practice physical distancing and students find themselves learning at home, at least part-time, there are still opportunities for them to volunteer safely. Here are some ideas.
Seek out groups
Many youth-oriented groups offer programs and ideas to help young people give back. 4-H helps more than 6 million young people develop skills to create positive change in their lives and communities. Programs like 4-H at Home that help kids keep doing and learning, while local 4-H clubs have more ways to get involved. Your local Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts also offer ample opportunities to get involved. Your child’s school or your place of worship may also offer clubs or other opportunities to get involved, so reach out to them for ideas, too.
Follow their interests
Volunteering will be more fun and engaging if the child is interested in what they’re doing. Think about what captures their imaginations:
Teach children about the importance of giving back in your own community by getting involved with socially distanced programs at local organizations. Help them coordinate a contact-free food drive to help a local food pantry or soup kitchen combatting hunger in your area. Or help them organize a school supply drive to help students who can’t afford the materials they need for school.
And don’t forget to ask the child in your life for their own ideas. Young people are creative and may have their own thoughts on how they want to give back. Encourage them to pursue their own projects and initiatives to give back. Read more about community volunteer opportunities and use these do-it-yourself guides for inspiration. If you’re looking for even more ideas, search for opportunities here.
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