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Ways for Children and Kids to Volunteer doing Community Service

Updated on January 24, 2013

Community Service Projects

Kids volunteering their time to cleanup their neighborhood
Kids volunteering their time to cleanup their neighborhood | Source

Community Service

My son’s high school has a policy that every student, every year, must donate a minimum of fifteen hours to a charity of their choosing. Personally I think that this is a wonderful policy and one that I support wholeheartedly.

I don’t want to sound like my parents or anything but my kids’ generation has things that are way different then when I was growing up. Everything has become digital and it is so easy for them to not have person to person interactions. Our youth also has so many forms of technology it has become very convenient to communicate through their thumbs instead of face to face.

Volunteer Ideas

For me, the biggest part is having them do something that they enjoy. I recognize that some kids will rebut anything that you offer but there really are opportunities out there that they can do, and not be bored out of their minds.

It would also be very beneficial if they would have an open mind going into the volunteering opportunity. If they have an open mind the chances of them actually enjoying themselves increases substantially. I’m sure they can’t possibly think that volunteering some of their valuable time can be fun but it really can be, if they allow it. It really comes down to them permitting themselves to feel the joy that can occur by assisting someone else out that doesn’t have it as good as they do.

Voluntary Work

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Places to Volunteer

Picking the right opportunity is absolutely critical to a positive outcome to the whole volunteering experience. Like I mentioned, try to find something that fits into their interests for the best possible outcome. I would suggest reaching out to the organization you are hoping to help and asking if they have any requirements you might need to know about. Some places will not allow minors to volunteer or the volunteer might have to lift a certain amount of weight. Whatever the details might be discuss them, so there are no surprises. The last thing you want to happen is to take your child there to only find out that there is some kind of snag and they can’t move forward. Such a disappointment might turn them off to the whole darn thing.

Here is an example of a simple volunteering exercise, coming into our son’s freshmen year he already had accrued his fifteen hours, plus a couple of extra ones for good measure. He was able to accomplish this because I coach a park and recreation baseball team every July and August for our city and he was my “assistant coach”. The kids ranged from eleven to thirteen and having this big fourteen year old out there with his All-Star hat on gave him instant credibility to these kids. I cannot begin to describe how enjoyable it was for me to coach these players with my son assisting, I was very proud to hear how he was simplifying the proper ways to throw the ball or swing the bat. It certainly made me feel that I did something right along the way.

Another avenue is working with animals because a majority of kids love animals. Many animal shelters have anemic budgets and will take all of the help they can get. The kids can help feed the animals or maybe get the cleaned up a little bit. Sure there are the less than flattering things like cleaning out the cages but that needs to be done too.

If your family is actively involved members at your church give them a call, they might need help with something as well. Simple tasks like preparing for Sunday service or even tidying things up are usually available to help with.

A less glamorous opportunity is to work at a food bank or a soup kitchen. This experience shouldn’t be entertained if your child is more on the emotional side. Seeing so many people struggling to find something to eat might be too much for some children to process. On the other hand it might really benefit those kids that do not understand homelessness and hunger; use your best judgment on this one.

Positive Attitude

A positive attitude is a must when you are volunteering your time, anywhere. If you are complaining or moping around while doing your chores it makes for a very negative and depressing atmosphere. If the child will not open up and possibly enjoy themselves they really need to “suck it up” and keep a smile on their face. I would explain to them how they have certain luxuries while others do not. Cater this conversation to what kind of volunteer work they are going to do. If they are going to help out at animal shelter remind them that these animals just want someone to love them and to have a home. Ask them how they would feel if they didn’t have their favorite pet. An open dialog and some education should help reduce keep the negativity at bay.

Volunteer Services

There is nothing wrong with enjoying yourself when you are volunteering. If you take a look around you could probably find someone enjoying their time every day while volunteering. All youth sports coaches are volunteering their time. The parents that helps stop traffic so you can safely cross the street at school has a smile on their face don’t they? The people that are standing outside of the grocery store trying to get signatures for something are respectful when they ask for your time right? These are good examples of people volunteering their free time to an organization that they feel passionately about and still keeping a positive outlook. Deep down they know that their contribution is helping their cause out and it makes them feel good about giving a few hours to it.

Don’t let them be afraid to get out there and help your community in any way that they can. Volunteering builds great character and helps construct a very strong foundation for our children to continuing maturing into responsible adults in our society. Just imagine how better our world could be if we all just helped someone out else out once in a while?

Volunteer Opportunities

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    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      Marcy - I agree. It doesn't take much effort to give back to your local community but the rewards can be huge! Thanks for your comment.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      What a great way to help kids understand the stewardship we can provide to others! Many kids in our church help out when the congregation's scout troop has an Eagle Project. Entire families show up and everyone pitches in to build something, restore something or otherwise help the community. Because that has been so popular, some of the young women create volunteer opportunities, too. The adults all enjoy hanging out together and helping as well, so it's a win-win for everyone.

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      wayseeker - A community service project sounds like a great idea. I'm glad this hub gave you that wonderful idea.

    • wayseeker profile image

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      Really great hub here. This has actually given me an idea! I teach, and we have what we call "Advisement" at the end of the day. Mostly it's just a chance to do some minimal keeping track of where kids are with their grades and get some school paperwork out to them. For the most part, it devolves into a "study hall" where no one actually does anything. I have been deeply frustrated by the degree to which this becomes a "waste" of valuable school time.

      What to do? Next year, we're going to take on a community service project. I'll have them participate in selecting what we want to do and then go from there. This hub will be a great resource for getting some basic thoughts in place for both me and them.

      Awesome.

      Thanks!

      wayseeker

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      teaches12345 - Thanks. We have felt for a very long time that both of our kids need to be involved in giving back. I hope that people will read this and try to implement some kind of volunteering effort into their own lives; if they don't already.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I loved this hub topic and content! What a great article that will help so many families in creating the value of charity. Your suggestions such as making sure they enjoy the task and finding ones that fit their interest are key. Voted up, up!

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      Robert - I'm glad you are planning on getting your kids involved in volunteering, it really is a great thing to do for them and their development. Thanks for sharing.

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      My parents had me volunteering all the time and I plan to do the same with my kids. I believe it not only gives back to society but develops you into a more aware, well rounded individual. Thanks for sharing! Voted up and shared.

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      Fath - Thanks and I agree with you completely.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      Really great hub. It is never too early to teach the young about serving. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      Melovy - I'm glad to hear that your kids are active in their community. Volunteering really is a wonderful way for them to experience the different ways that things are done and to remind them how some people might not have as much as they do. Thanks for sharing.

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      This is something I’ve never really thought much about in a formal way. And yet, just today one of my kids is doing a swimathon for a cancer charity. They have both done several of these. When my older daughter was 6 she (with my help) organised a charity sale and bake in our house and they frequently hold sales of old toys outside our house - donating the proceeds to charity. In a singing group a few years ago they sang at an old folks home, and they have helped raise funds for their sports club. So I guess my kids are volunteering after all. Your hub certainly got me thinking about this - thank you!

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      Express10 - I agree 100%. Thanks for your comments.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      This is a very good hub that shows children can give back to their communities. Depending upon the volunteering opportunity they may be able to learn to count their blessings as well.

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      billy - thanks. I thought it would be beneficial to share how easy it can be to get our kids involved in improving our communities.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A great message for all to read; a citizen is not a citizen unless they are giving back to the community. I love the tone and purpose of this hub.