Story written by Demetra Ganias.
There’s an old adage that children may not do as we say, but they’ll do as we do. And never is that more true than when we’re giving back. Whether you’re donating time or money, your kids’ involvement is the key to showing them the power of helping others. To that end, we’ve rounded up five ways to give to others, that lend themselves to including kids. Let them choose a cause that interests them as well as you, and you’ll be halfway there to instilling this core value.
This organization tries to solve a heartbreaking problem: 40% of the US food supply is wasted. So Food Rescue US helps connect unused food with people who are hungry – and you’re the bridge! You sign up, pick up food from a restaurant or store that has unused food, then deliver it to a shelter or food pantry. Have your kids come with you for the ride! Having young hands lift boxes and bags beside you will leave a lasting impression. There are 40 locations in 21 states.
Baby2Baby is a mega diaper bank and nonprofit organization providing essential items to children in need nationwide. It has distributed more than 200 million items over 10 years to homeless shelters, domestic violence programs, foster care, hospitals and underserved schools. Although in-person volunteering happens at their Los Angeles headquarters, children anywhere in the country can host a drive. Critical items are diapers, wipes, formula, and hygiene products that are later donated to bolster local people in need.
Trusted and respected for its global reach and local presence, the United Way is an impactful choice for giving. Opportunities to help are varied because the United Way’s reach spans many needs: it offers relief after natural disasters, collects supplies for people displaced in war-torn regions like Ukraine, and offers access to early learning programs for kids.
Volunteering options are specialized for each region, so check out the website about how to donate items, host collections, and more.
Most of us know about The Salvation Army through its Red Kettle campaign, dropping change and dollars where we heard bell ringers. A more modern take on “help” combines a chore with goodwill. The run-up to the holidays is the perfect time to clear out toy chests, playrooms, and closets to make way for new gifts. This is a fantastic chance to get your kids involved- helping you with a task and giving what they don’t use or have outgrown to those in need. The items donated to The Salvation Army are sold in thrift stores. Proceeds fund Adult Rehabilitation Centers,w here those struggling with alcohol and drug addiction find dignity and a second chance. Schedule a pickup here: https://satruck.org
In 2021, 53 million Americans turned to food banks and community programs for help to put food on the table. You can be part of the solution! You can search for facilities by zip code then bring your family to help sort and pack food, deliver meals, or work at drive-through pantries. If you prefer to volunteer from home, help your children organize a fundraiser, or host a food drive. Feed America has flexible options that can be tailored to nearly any age group.