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. Now that summer break is almost here we’ve put together four things to consider as you get your kids involved in giving back. To learn more about getting involved in your community, visit our website and sign up for our free, customized e-alerts. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too for the latest volunteer news and updates.
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 is 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 fire.
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. Volunteer to make a meal for a Domus Group Home or purchase snacks for the clients at Family & Children’s Agency in Norwalk. Maybe your family and friends could organize a coat or food drive for a local agency. 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 amazing things happen when kids take on their own volunteer projects and we know you will too. Our high school interns are a prime example, check out all of the amazing volunteer work they do in our Town News section.
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 Bridgeport-based LifeBridge Community Services and Darien, Norwalk, and Stamford 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.