Helping your kids develop empathy for others in your community is easier than you may think. Children emulate their parents, so, when they see you giving back to your community, they will be eager to help. If you get them involved at a younger age, they will take a bigger interest in charity and philanthropy as they get older.
Bring Meals to the Elderly and Disabled
There are millions of people throughout the country who find it difficult to shop or cook for themselves. While Meals on Wheels is one organization, there are many others that enlist the help of volunteers to deliver hot meals to those in need. This is an opportunity for you and your kids to get to know the elderly and disabled in your own neighborhood, which can help keep the residents in the area more connected. It will also help ensure the elderly and disabled have someone checking in on them on a daily basis.
Volunteer at a Food Bank
Every big city and even smaller cities throughout the country have food banks, where food is donated and those in need can pick up food free of charge. You can take your children to volunteer at a food bank in your area to help the families who are in greater need. The Feeding America network was set up to ensure no one goes hungry, but they do need volunteer workers in addition to food donations. Working a few days a month at a food bank can give your family an opportunity to make a bigger impact on your community.
Read to Sick Kids
You can take your kids to a pediatric ward during visitors hours, where sick children are facing serious illnesses or injuries. Often, hospitalized children feel depressed or bored, and a lift to their spirits will do wonders for their recovery. You can take your own kids to visit children in the hospital, where you can read to them. While visits will be kept short, you’ll see the positive effects your visits have on the children almost immediately.
Although the current COVID pandemic means you may not be able to visit anyone in person, you can use Zoom to arrange visits, or choose to write letters instead. Everyone loves receiving mail, and some may even write back.
This is only a brief list of the things you can do with your children. If there’s a cause that’s important to you or your kids, don’t hesitate to get your family involved. Giving back to your community in a variety of different ways will help you accomplish more, while providing plenty of opportunities that will help your family bond. In helping others, you and your children will build positive memories that will last a lifetime.