Today’s post is a guest article from Kate Croston.
No matter how young or old you are, volunteering is one of the single most rewarding and impacting experiences you can have. Helping those who are less fortunate than us not only puts our own blessings in perspective, making us more appreciative of the lives we’ve been fortunate enough to have, but it also is very emotionally gratifying as well, building us into stronger and more compassionate people. This is why it’s so important to help our kids understand the importance of volunteering early on. You might meet some initial resistance with kids volunteering, as most would rather be out playing with their friends; however, with the right approach you’ll have them engaged in no time.
1) Volunteer together – Instead of sending your children off on their own to volunteer with different organizations, make it a family affair. They’ll be less resistant to attending this way and it will help create a bond between your family as you all grow both individually and together.
2) Let them pick a cause they are interested in – Having your kids pick the cause they want to volunteer for automatically makes them more engaged in the activity, and they’ll benefit the most from doing something with which they personally identify. If they have a passion for animals then try volunteering at the local animal shelter. If they love being around elderly people then take them to the nursing home. There are so many organizations out there that are always looking for volunteers that you’re sure to find the right match in no time.
3) Volunteer regularly – Make volunteering a habit early on in their lives. The more it seems like a normal, everyday activity, the more likely they are to stick with it throughout the years instead of only going once or twice before losing interest.
4) Start small – You don’t have to have them jump headfirst into 20 hours a week of volunteering. Instead have them do a Christmas shoebox that you drop off for the less fortunate children one year, then add on a more intensive volunteering project, and then something else after that… Starting small makes it easier to transition slowly into bigger projects.
5) Make it enjoyable, not overwhelming – Volunteering should be something that your children look forward to doing, so don’t obligate them to so many different volunteer organizations that they become overwhelmed and burned out. Moderation is key in everything, and volunteering is no different.
There really are no drawbacks when it comes to volunteering. Not only will you and your kids be helping others, but you’ll also be helping yourselves. It’s the perfect balance where each side comes out ahead.
Kate Croston is a freelance writer, holds a bachelors degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. She writes guest posts for different sites and loves contributing on internet service related topics. Questions or comments can be sent to: katecroston.croston09 @ gmail.com.