I've had lots of emails about how & where to volunteer with young children and how I am implementing our weekly volunteering effort with Sam, my 6 1/2 year old daughter. We've typically volunteered as a family during the holidays but I really wanted to incorporate it into a more regular basis for us this school year. I think this is so important - not only as an educational tool but in order to help develop kindness and empathy in kids.
Samme & I brainstormed some ideas together that we are going to do. Some are once a week, others are an ongoing commitment. Some we are doing on our own, others we are doing with the church. We are going to try to make Thursdays, afterschool our "volunteer" days.
1. Sponsor a child through Compassion. There are currently 1666 children awaiting help through this program. For $38/month you can help make a child's life a whole lot better. I searched for girls in Africa about Sam's age and those waiting for sponsorship the longest time and then had Sam pick. We talked about the program, looked up where they lived on a map, put together a care package and notes and Samme will be donating some of her earned & gifted money towards this sponsorship each month.
2. Simple things...For example one day we picked a ton of plums from the plum tree and put them together in cute little boxes, Samme made notes and we delivered them to all of our neighbors.
3. We volunteered at the school learning garden & set up a farm stand to raise money for the garden (picture above).
4. Some things we are planning on doing...
- Donating food to the food bank & soup kitchen.
- Volunteering at the soup kitchen (Sam is too young to be in the kitchen but she can help serve and help stock the pantry).
- Visiting local nursing homes and bringing muffins and art work to the elderly residents.
- Visiting a children's hospital and bringing balloons to the kids.
- Picking up trash along a stretch of the road we live on.
- Planting a tree.
5. Support online causes...such as this, this or this.
What are some of the ways you volunteer with your kids?