One of the best ways for your child to learn about being a team player—besides on their youth sports team—is by working with others to serve people in their community. And this should be a lifestyle, not an event just around holidays. The summer is a perfect time to provide these opportunities for your kids.
Here are some suggestions for you to implement all year long. These ideas for giving back can be done as a team, or as a family.
- Clothing drive for a specific shelter. Collect and deliver yourselves.
- Look for ways to help neighbors who need it. That elderly couple who can’t rake their leaves or the single mom who needs a babysitter but can’t afford one.
- Give blood.
- Serve food to the homeless at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
- Buy Christmas presents for kids who are less fortunate, through a charity organization.
- Anonymously fill a basket with goodies and toys for a family and drop it off at their front door.\
- Hold a car wash, with all proceeds going to charity.
- Serve at an animal shelter.
- Do a fundraising walk/run together as a team or family.
- Volunteer at a church service project.
Whatever you do, try to make serving a family and/or team affair. If the team is involved, Mom and Dad can participate and be an example of giving back.
Remember that teaching generosity to your kids is not a one-time event. Start small and take baby steps. After projects or events, talk with your kids about what they did and how it made them feel. Encouraging your child’s team or even your family to give back will hopefully motivate them to become people that desire to help others, not just focus on themselves.