Whether your kids are five or eighteen, we know there are tremendous benefits to volunteering and community involvement. Everything is possible from making new friends to becoming a better leader to understanding the important role they play in their community. Here are four things to consider as you get your kids involved in giving back.
1) Lead By Example
What parent doesn’t want to be a good role model? Setting a great example of what volunteering means to you can be the best way to get your kids involved. If you’ve volunteered in the past, share some stories about what it meant to you. Introduce your child to some colleagues who are involved, or speak to their school to see if there’s a community service or volunteering program. Showing kids how much you can help your community - and how great it feels – is an easy way to light the volunteering spark.
2) Make It A Family Affair
We know it’s sometimes tricky to find volunteer projects for kids under 18 but there are some things you can do together. Make baked goods for the clients at Family & Children’s Agency in Norwalk. Or rescue food with Community Plates. Have your family and friends organize a coat or food drive for a local agency. The point is, there are lots of options and sometimes just a little creativity will go a long way toward finding the right fit for your family.
3) Give Your Kids Some Space
This one is particularly relevant for the parents of high school students. Guide your child through the volunteering process, but know when to leave them to spread their wings. You may be surprised at the initiative your son or daughter can take on their own! We’ve seen some amazing things happen when kids take on their own volunteer projects and we know you will too.
4) Get a Group Together
If your kids would be more comfortable in a group setting, look no further! Fairfield County has a variety of volunteer-driven organizations that have youth groups and youth volunteer projects like New Canaan-based Kids Helping Kids and Darien-based Person-to-Person. Also look into your place of worship. Many have youth groups that do a ton of great projects locally.
Whatever the age and needs of your child, it’s easy to get kids involved in volunteering and the rewards are priceless. To learn more about how to get involved in Fairfield County visit our website and be sure to sign up for our free, customized e-alerts. Check us out on Facebook and Twitter, too for the latest volunteer news and updates.