Thanks for joining us for part three in a three part blog series on raising service oriented children. Part one was all about Inspiring Kids to Pay It Forward. In part two we discussed the need to be Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World Today we will come full circle and cover how we can invest in future generations by Raising Volunteers.
Volunteering connects kids to their community, allowing them to make a positive impact in it, all the while learning skills they need for adulthood like collaboration, communication, and teamwork. Volunteering is one of the most powerful ways kids can enrich their lives now while preparing for the future. Kids are often eager to serve, especially if they are brought up to view service as a natural part of life. Service is not only outstanding for kids social-emotional development, but also an imperative opportunity to influence and impact the world around them. On that note, let’s break it down to a top 10 list of why it is time well spent to train up the next generation of volunteers:
Top Ten Reasons To Volunteer With Kids:
1. Serving others increases happiness and decreases depression
2. The giving inherent in time spent volunteering is good for our health
3. Volunteering creates skill development
4. Volunteering provides opportunities for future career exploration
5. Volunteering together is a great way to make friends
6. Volunteering changes the world, one small act of service at a time
7. Some service opportunities get kids outside and active
8. Volunteering fights inequality
9. Volunteering increases compassion and empathy while decreasing selfishness
10. Volunteering provides kids real world opportunities to learn responsibility
In our home, we like to be on the lookout for ways to involve our kids in their local community and even provide them opportunities to be of service to people on the other side of the world. Whether it’s writing a letter to a missionary family serving abroad, or feeding the hungry through our local church – opportunities abound for kids to make a difference.
Raising our own children to be volunteers is a goal that requires my husband and I begin with the end in mind. Remembering our pursuit of growing grateful kids, we look for all the opportunities we can for our kids to serve, as we know those are the moments perspective is gained, and entitlement is squashed. As much as there’s a need to practice lessons learned again and again, each volunteering experience adds up to a sum total of capable, grateful, humble people – empowered to make a difference over a lifetime.
Our church recently partnered with Lifeline Christian Mission to feed people locally, regionally, and internationally. My two kids are pictured below, along with elementary kids from their Sunday school class preparing food packets for 15,768 meals! This may have been the most excited I have ever seen my kids about helping out. They absolutely couldn’t believe they were going to get to wear hairnets and use fancy food tools to put together food packets. They helped others, learned new skills, practiced initiative and responsibility – all while connecting with friends! Volunteering truly does decrease selfishness and increase selflessness, even in kids! Ready to learn much more on how and why? Read on for a digital resource list and book resource lists I’ve compiled to equip adults to train young volunteers as well as to inspire kids themselves to serve:
Books for kids to encourage volunteering
Everybody Can Help Somebody
Parents and children alike will be moved by this powerful story and will never forget the unexpected and life-changing things that can happen when we help somebody.“Nobody can help everybody, but everybody can help somebody.
Kiki’s Hats is the lively story of a spunky and lovable woman who knits hats and gives them away. It is also a story about you and me. Kids and adults. And how much FUN it can be to do something good for someone else.
Thirty true stories profile kids who used their heads, their hearts, their courage, and sometimes their stubbornness to help others and do extraordinary things.
The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects: Over 500 Service Ideas for Young People Who Want to Make a Difference This new edition of Free Spirit’s best-selling youth service guide includes a refreshed “Ten Steps to Successful Service Projects” plus hundreds of up-to-date ideas for projects—from simple to large-scale.
Books for adults on volunteering with kids
Doing Good Together: 101 Easy, Meaningful Service Projects for Families, Schools, and Communities Doing Good Together answers the growing demand for family volunteerism with hands-on service projects focused on easing poverty, promoting literacy, supporting the troops, helping the environment, and more.
How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist: 330 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Home, Community, and World – at No Cost! A handbook, a resource guide, a call to action, and an inspiration, it offers 330 concrete, direct ideas for making a difference–all of which have nothing to do with the size of your checkbook and everything to do with using the hidden assets that are already a part of your life.
PBS: Volunteering for Beginners
PBS Family Volunteering
Habitat for Humanity for Youth
Oprah.com: Ways for Children to Volunteer
Points of Light
Thank you for reading along through this series focused on teaching kids to serve. What would you add to the resource lists in this post or the other posts in this series? How do you inspire a love for service in the kids in your life?
Great thoughts! I try to involve my girls when I can (ages 6 and 9.) kids definitely need to learn to think about others!
So true – and that is awesome to hear! 🙂