Kids are surprisingly generous. Recently, a study found that babies often offer food to others even when they’re hungry themselves, illustrating a readiness to give even when it costs them something. Kids also become generous through others’ teaching and modeling—recognizing their early willingness to give is the first step towards channeling their kindness into an identity defined by kindness. To practically help, here are some different ways kids can give back to the community.
Donate Their Clothes, Toys, and More
First, kids can give what they already have. There are many programs that take specific used items. Clothes kids grow out of are a good place to start, while giving their toys stretches them a bit more. If they still care about their toys, giving some away is a good way to introduce them to the idea of giving through sacrifice. Allowing them to physically donate their old things, while more painful in some cases, allows them to see exactly where their donations go. If they enjoy donating to various shelters or supply drives in your area, show them how to buy and donate bulk lunch bags and other wholesale items to help even more people.
Help Their Local Animal Shelter
Another way kids can give back to their community is by serving their local animal shelter in one of two ways: volunteering or fostering. Kids can volunteer in various ways. There’s always a need for dog walkers, it’s a fun way to serve, and kids can also help maintain the shelter itself. Otherwise, they can foster an animal themselves, taking on the responsibility for the animal. This is a more intensive option that gives an animal a loving home for a time. Both options are great for kids inclined towards animals.
Pick Up Litter in Their Neighborhood
Even as kids play in their neighborhood, they can turn their attention towards service. Whether they’re walking, running, or biking, they can always stop and pick up litter as they spend time with friends. If they want to go the extra mile, going out specifically to pick up litter is an even better idea. Convincing their friends to join not only means more trash off the ground, but it also helps other kids see the need for communal service.