Raising kids who give back is a big priority for me as a parent! My kids are still quite young (6, 4, 3, and newborn), so the options are limited, but here are a few ways I try to get them thinking about leaving the world a better place than they found it:
- Teach by example. Donate to charities, volunteer at your child’s school, drop food off at your local food bank. Be kind to others.
- Get them involved. My kids are getting better at going through their belongings and picking out items they want to donate rather than feeling like every item I suggest is the most important item ever. They have an easy time going through clothing now; we have a lot of work to do with toys still!
- Choose accessible projects. This was the whole point of putting together a craft ebook for the Small Hands Creating Hope fundraiser. Giving back can be as simple as making something for someone who is having a rough time – or walking around your neighborhood picking up trash.
- Encourage them to reach out. I am trying to teach my children to always be kind and to always treat others with respect.
- Write thank you notes. Gratitude is the first step to giving back.
- Where possible, support inspirational dreams. Like this documentary looking at using community creative arts programs to support a peaceful post conflict community. I’m not affiliated with this project in any way, but I studied this same topic for my doctoral dissertation, so I’m excited to see a documentary on the same topic in a different part of the world.
Here are a few causes I’m exploring with my kids this month:
- Go Orange for No Kid Hungry runs September 6-9. Did you know that one in five children in the United states struggle with hunger?
- September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, and there are several ways kids can make a difference. This photo essay can introduce you to a few pediatric cancer patients.We are also opening the Small Hands Creating Hope fundraiser back up for the month of September. Go to this link to get all the details!
- Help BGCA provide school supplies to kids in need through Bloggers Filling Backpacks.
There are even more opportunities to help if you look at global organizations. Do you have a favorite global charity? Giving back – locally or globally – is a great way to increase global awareness, since it helps children and parents look beyond their immediate needs.
I feel like Emma (6 years old) is getting to an age where she can be involved more with giving back, so I would love to hear how you are working on this with your children!