The holiday season is upon us. Finding the perfect gift and spending quality time with your family are probably two of the more pressing issues on your mind. What if we told you there was a way to easily achieve both at one time?
Volunteering during the holiday season is a way to do just that! You’ll not only enjoy quality time together, but you’ll also be giving the perfect gift to those in need!
How Volunteering Benefits Kids
There are plenty of benefits for children who volunteer, including:
- Making them more likely to make positive, healthy choices
- Helping enhance self-esteem
- Improving psychological well-being
- Encouraging compassion and altruism
- Providing experiential learning opportunities
- Helping children experience and appreciate diversity
- Teaching valuable life skills
And the benefits of participating in a community service project aren’t just limited to the ones we’ve listed!
Ideas for Holiday Volunteering
No matter the age of your children, there are always simple ways they can volunteer and help out the community.
If you have a younger child, he or she can help pick out non-perishable food items that can be donated to a food bank, decorate cards for soldiers overseas or children who are in hospitals, or even stuff new socks with items that homeless men and women could be given when passed on the streets.
Older children can donate gently used books and DVDs to local children’s hospitals, schedule a visit to a nursing home and interact with the residents, or host a hot chocolate or cider stand from which the proceeds are donated to a local charity.
Keeping the Volunteer Spirit Year-round
It’s great to volunteer with your kids throughout the holiday season, but keeping that effort going year-round is a fantastic goal to have!
By keeping some form of volunteering on your family’s schedule, you’re helping your child learn that it’s not about what you have, but about empathy and the value of giving to others.
You can help encourage your child’s altruistic side by letting him or her pick a cause to support and discussing the difference between donating time and money. Both are valuable donations for the cause/charity of your family’s choosing, but it’s still important for your child to learn the difference between the two types of donating.
Looking for other ways to inspire your child to become his or her best self? Check out the programs Drama Kids International offers that are specially designed to help kids gain valuable life skills.