Each year National Family Volunteer Day is held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. First organized 22 years ago by Points of Light, the day is meant to “showcase the benefits of family volunteering and provide opportunities for families to help communities create supportive environments for their children and each other.” It’s also a way to start the holiday season with giving and service.
While many volunteer opportunities are restricted to adults only, there are lots of things kids can do to be involved as well. Here are a few ideas for ways kids can contribute with their families:
- Go along with their parents to deliver Meals on Wheels. Elderly shut-ins often love to see children come to their doors. When the girls in my daughter’s Girl Scout troop delivered meals a few years ago, some recipients insisted on giving something back to the girls as their own way of saying thanks. It was a good way to see that there are more ways to give than we may realize on the surface.
- Collect items in their neighborhood for a cause they support. With a little effort kids can create a flyer to put on neighbors’ doors letting them know they will be coming by on a certain date to pick up donations. The cause can vary from old blankets and towels for an animal shelter, to canned food for a local food bank, to used winter clothing in good condition and new toiletries for a homeless shelter, much more.
- Organize an event to benefit their schools. Do teachers need extra supplies to hand out to kids who don’t have them? Would a flowering tree look nice next to the playground? Kids can talk to their principals and find out what’s needed, then get a group of friends together to provide it.
For more ideas, check out these resources: