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Parent Talk: Encouraging Kids to Volunteer

Do you teach your kids to give back to their community?

This past weekend, my friend’s 5-year-old daughter dressed up in a kimono and sold cookies, tea and fans from a small table set up in front of her building. She was raising money for the victims of the earthquake/tsunami in Japan.

Recently, I took my son to an event sponsored by St. Judes and Build a Bear, where we made bears with children from the hospital. For each guest that attended the event, a stuffed bear was donated to children at St. Judes. 

However, I don’t think my children do enough community work. Now that they are getting older and more fully grasping the concept of charity, I want them to grow into adults that want to help others.  

I’m a huge fan of Children for Children, which is now a part of Generation On, which partners kids ages 3 and up with various volunteer projects. Do you know of any local non-profits where kids can volunteer? Have you taken your children to a soup kitchen to feed the homeless or visited the elderly? If so, please leave any tips for us!

I am looking forward to hearing about all of the great experiences you’ve had volunteering as a family!

MilkMom April 02, 2011 at 02:04 PM
Twice in the past year my 2 kids have had a lemonade stand and donated the profits to Operation Smile. We set up right by the Dunkin Donuts and had tons of foot traffic. My son decided to charge $1 a glass and made $80 in 2 hours. That's serious cash! As the wad of money grew, I kept reminding them that the plan was to send it to charity. We looked at pictures of children who received operations that came in the mail from OS, which helped keep the focus on what they were working for. This year they want to raise funds for an animal cause - I'll let them do some research and pick one they can connect with.
chris osborne April 03, 2011 at 01:49 PM
Kids Against Hunger is a non-profit based in Minnesota, but has satellite offices all over the country. KAH hosts packing events where kids (and adults!) can pack food to be shipped overseas and delivered to local food shelters. It is a great time! http://www.kidsagainsthunger.org/ or the satellite I work for: http://www.kah-greenwood.org/

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