As the holidays are upon us, parents are busy putting up decorations, preparing for family gatherings, and attending school activities. However, this is a wonderful time of year to teach kids the importance of lending a helping hand to those less fortunate. Parents can find venues for volunteering in their local communities, such as food banks, soup kitchens or charities that help struggling neighbors. Before volunteering in the community, it is important to know the mask mandates and current rules related to COVID response. Here are some tips to help parents:
1. Help others
As the holidays are rapidly approaching, this can be a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about helping others in need. When individuals volunteer, it can make such a lasting impact in people's lives by giving them a sense of hope for the future. There are many non-profit organizations, food banks, animal shelters, toy drives and other outlets for helping neighbors in need. It is important to find a charitable cause and explore how much time your family can give back to the community. Helping others fosters compassion. Studies have shown that people that volunteer during childhood are more likely to maintain that work ethic into adulthood.
2. Teach life skills
Kids can learn many life skills when they participate in helping others such as organizing events, time management skills, making various foods, and teaching them how to build many items. These skills can help them become more independent as they grow older. It also gives kids a sense of what it takes to put together fundraisers to provide services for individual in needs. For example, when parents take kids to a shelter to serve dinners, this can help them learn how to set up table settings, serve food and clean up afterward.
3. Meet new friends
When kids volunteer in their local communities, it can be an excellent time to meet new people and make long-lasting friends. It can provide an avenue to meet kids from other schools and make many connections. These volunteering opportunities can help them to build their social, interpersonal and communication skills. Kids will be able to work with many different diverse populations that may give them an understanding of various ethnic backgrounds. It also may provide opportunities to do activities outside of volunteering such as going to the mall, watching movies and hanging out with new friends.
4. Build a resume
When kids give back, they help build their resumes for future part-time and full-time jobs. Employers like to see more than just attending school and participating in extra-curricular activities. Colleges also like to see students who are well rounded and have gained skills such as computer, communication and organizational skills. Community service can build a fantastic resume by participating in many different non-profit agencies and offer the experience they need to be very productive adults.
5. Provide job opportunities
Parents will want to encourage their children to get involved in their communities because it may lead into a job. It also could give them the opportunity to do an internship with an agency that will provide an insight to various careers. They can learn the daily responsibilities that come along with employment and how to work with others. As kids become involved in volunteering, it could give them the advantage of finding jobs before they are even published to the public. Parents will want to share all these benefits with their children to give them many opportunities in the future!