Volunteering and giving back to the community is very important to me. I am very active with the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and the Women’s Foundation. I believe in teaching my children to volunteer as well. Whenever they can tag along, they do.

Teaching your children about the importance of giving back from an early age can help them grow into compassionate and virtuous adults. Your kids will also likely be more grateful of the things that they have and won’t take their good fortunes for granted when they do charity work. Here are some great ways that you and your children can work together to give back to the community.

Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen

Soup kitchens serve meals to homeless people and other low-income individuals during the holidays and sometimes year-round. Some soup kitchens in your area may allow children to volunteer to serve hot meals to other people who are in need. If you have young children, they still may be able to help by handing out plates, napkins and other eating utensils.


Join a Trash Cleanup Crew

Churches, businesses and other organizations often organize trash cleanup crews and are always happy to accept new volunteers. You and your children will pick up trash that’s left along freeways, beaches and other public spaces in your community. In addition to making your local area more beautiful, removing trash can prevent certain health and fire hazards. Picking up trash can help wildlife creatures avoid certain dangers as well. The group that you join will probably supply trash bags, gloves and other essential items to pick up trash safely. However, you might also be asked to furnish some of your own items.

Restore Homes

Give back to the community by restoring it. This volunteer opportunity is generally best suited for older kids who are approaching or already in their teenage years. There may be homes in your community that have been ravaged by natural disasters or affected by old age or neglect. Restoring these homes increases housing options for low-income families and helps to combat the problem of homelessness. You can volunteer for an organization like the one managed by notable philanthropist Neill Sullivan Oakland community members have come to respect. Depending on the age of your children, they may or may not be allowed to use power and cutting tools on construction sites.

Plant Trees

Planting new trees around your area can be good for both your family and the planet. New trees can produce cleaner air and help filter out air pollution. More trees in your neighborhood may even help prevent flooding and mudslides. When you volunteer with an organization, you and your kids can lend a hand by planting small saplings that will eventually grow into tall trees. You can also help care for these saplings as they grow so that they survive through their most vulnerable stages.

Care for Animals

Animal shelters always need volunteers to assist with the care of rescued animals. You might find a shelter in your area that happily welcomes children and provides training to be the most helpful. From brushing and feeding cats and dogs to playing with the animals, your children could be assigned a variety of tasks that are both fun and fulfilling. In addition direct care, you and your children can raise funds and donate the proceeds to an animal charity.

Volunteering together with your kids can be highly beneficial for your community and will allow your children to develop new skills. You should have no trouble finding organizations in your area that are always eager to welcome new people .

Do you volunteer or give back to your community? What other options do you suggest?