People that volunteer have a close connection to the issues in their community. However, they also have a close connection to the people and the success in their community as well. When children can volunteer, they learn many skills that they might not have any other way.
After school activities like our Ninja Warrior class or summer programs teach children confidence, determination, and skill. Going to preschool and continuing their education by finding the right elementary school can set them up for a lifetime of success. However, nothing can teach compassion, understanding, empathy, and community like volunteering.
Learn about Unknown Talents
Introducing age-appropriate options for children to volunteer gives them the perfect way to explore their talents and feel like they are part of something for the first time. If they’ve shown a passion for animals, then perhaps taking them to an animal shelter where they can clean, take care of, feed, and help pets will be great for letting them explore a future as a vet or animal rehabilitator.
In addition, volunteering will often help in teaching lessons learned in the classroom or at after-school activities or summer camps. If your child has a wonderful time at an animal adventure themed summer camp, perhaps helping at a wildlife refuge can further instill how important taking care of animals is and what each animal needs and has.
Feel a Connection to Your Community
Children have no direct way, in many cases, to feel a connection to the community around them. However, through volunteering at an animal shelter, a homeless shelter, a tree planting organization, a collection drive, or a charity walk that can directly participate in helping make the community a better place.
Through experiences like this, they will learn what it’s like to have a community. They will learn and understand how each person in the community must help to keep the community going. Volunteering requires maturity, patience and kindness. Children can be all of these things and in many cases, can learn and cultivate them further for a better life.
Tips for Volunteering with a Child
1. Ask Your Child
It’s important that you think about and talk with your child when making this decision. If you make all the decisions, then your child won’t feel a connection to the event. You’ll also need to talk about what will be expected from them and that they should look to get out of the event.
2. Ask the Organization if they Allow Kids
Many Nonprofit organizations don’t allow children to take part in their activities. Usually, this is due to their inability to take the risks that children will present depending on the work that they do. As such, you should ask if the child is allowed to come and what they will be allowed to do at the event.
3. Determine the Workload
After signing up for the date, it’s time to determine what you and your child will be doing the day of. While some organizations might not know the specifics, they should be able to give you an idea of what you can expect and what your child’s main goals will be. This is a great way to help your child get excited about the work that they will be doing.
In many cases, nothing much will be needed should you decide to help at a local place. However, if you take a trip to help clean trails at a national park, then it’s important that you have everything that you need for the trip. Involve your child in this process to help them feel in charge and connected to the help that you both are bringing.
Volunteering is all about attitude. Ensure your child knows to come in with an open mind and a humble attitude. If you or they walk in as if to bestow knowledge on everyone else, the event won’t be fun. However, if you walk in with open arms ready to help and learn about the community, then you and your child will walk away with new memories, lessons, and understandings of how the world works.