You and your children need not don capes and fly through the air to be superheros in your community. Giving back is a matter of finding a local nonprofit you believe in. You can then volunteer your time, your money, or what’s in the back of your closet. Read on for tips on how to civically engage your entire family.
There are many ways to give to your community, and one of the easiest ways is to donate your unwanted clothes, furniture, toys, food, and other items to charity. Not only can this help others, but it can also help declutter your home.
Goodwill Industries accepts donations like these on a daily basis. Your donation to Goodwill supports job programs that hire people who would otherwise have difficulty finding work. By working in Goodwill stores, the formerly jobless learn valuable skills in retail, accounting, cashiering, and moving store inventory.
Many pet rescue organizations, like the Humane Society, also have thrift stores that accept donations of clothes and other items. The proceeds from these stores go to feed and house unwanted animals until they can be adopted by new families. If your children love animals, this is a great way to enable them to participate in helping animals.
So, when your family spends a weekend morning cleaning out closets and drawers, be sure to have boxes labeled “For Charity” available. Children can then put things they no longer want, but which would be useful to someone else, in those boxes. Then the whole family can go through the house and identify furniture and toys no longer needed and donate those items as well.
Boy scouts and girl scouts
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts programs are extremely successful in part because they engage children and young adults in community conservation service projects. Since 1952, the Boy Scouts have created forest trails, restocked fish in lakes, planted trees, and created birdhouses and bird-feeding stations.
Girl Scouts have not fallen behind. They are busy organizing book and toy drives and even donating bulletproof vests to K-9 police officers.
The Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are a great way to help your children become more civically engaged. In addition, they provide wonderful educational opportunities, like learning about plants, that children usually don’t learn in school. And, by working on civic projects with other children, your kids learn important leadership and teamwork skills.
If you don’t know of a scout troop that meets your children’s needs, you can always start one up! Most scout troops are led by one or more parents. Forming your own troop is a sure way to embed yourself in your community and to give back.
Be a force for good right on your block
You don’t have to go far to find someone who needs your help. If you have any seniors in your neighborhood who have mobility issues, your family can volunteer to shovel snow or deliver groceries for them.
You and your children can also make impromptu care packages for the homeless by packing some food, socks, and a travel rain poncho and handing them out.
Or you could all volunteer at the nearest soup kitchen. Doing so puts you directly in touch with people less fortunate and helps children be more accepting of differences.
In short, it’s relatively easy to teach children the importance of giving back and staying engaged in their communities. Help them understand the needs of the less fortunate by volunteering and giving away things your family no longer needs. And enjoy the blessings of those who consider the needs and feelings of others.
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