This post, which mentions CVCJ, was written by Lydia Chan for her blog, http://alzheimerscaregiver.net/
Photo by Unsplash
Have you been wondering how to get your kids more involved in their community? Did you make a resolution to do more volunteer work? It’s time to make that plan a reality and do some good in the world. You and your children will feel better and likely form a stronger bond with each other and the world. Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey has many opportunities for families with children to get involved and they are so rewarding.
Some wonderful ways include “adopting a grandparent” to visit and hear their amazing life stories, grocery shopping for an older person who no longer drives or visiting with your dog to share tail-wagging joy!
The benefits of volunteerism for children are vast. It teaches them responsibility, and it shows them that not everyone lives a comfortable, privileged life. It fosters empathy, compassion and builds self-esteem. Older kids can get real-world experience in a potential career, too.
If you’re looking for places to spend your time, there are several other websites that can direct you. Sit down with your kids and talk about their passions. If they have an interest in a certain subject, explore ways to volunteer around that subject.
Here are some ideas of places to volunteer with your kids:
1. An animal shelter or rescue organization — Animal rescues can teach your child about responsibility toward their pets, the importance of spay and neuter programs and that caring for animals is about more than just playing with them. Animal organizations need volunteers to walk dogs, bathe animals, feed them and clean cages.
2. Alzheimer’s Association provides ways for volunteers to get involved. Whether it’s donating money, working in one of the offices or spending time with a loved one before the disease progresses, you and your kids can get involved to make a difference in someone’s life. Alzheimer’s caregivers need to take safety measures to keep their loved ones healthy. Caregivers should check the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and keep walkways well-lit. Kids can engage Alzheimer’s patients with social interaction. It’s important that your loved one maintain some independence as your family continues to build stronger relationships and support. Eventually, you will have set some time to discuss your loved one’s future.
3. Homeless shelters — Many homeless shelters are for families, which includes children. They often need help with hosting holiday parties.
4. Food banks — Food banks often need help with unloading trucks and sorting food for clients. Your children can also host a food drive to raise donations for the organization.
5. Special events — If your community has an event, such as parades or community festivals, your children can volunteer to help out. These events are often put together with the help of volunteers, and it will make them proud that they helped bring it together.
6. Donation and sponsorship — You can get a group together to host a refugee family in your community, or raise money to sponsor a family in need. The amount of money kids can raise might seem small, but non-profit organizations are grateful to all donors.
7. Tutoring — Older kids can volunteer to tutor younger, disadvantaged children in organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of America or the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. This activity also could be included on your kids’ college applications and resumes.
8. Congregational groups — Check your place of worship to see if there are volunteers needed. Often, youth groups participate in projects in which they help the community.
9. Run a race — Participation in community fun runs usually raises money for a local charity. You and your kids can run or walk the course and raise money for the organization. Plus, you and your young’uns will get much-needed exercise.
10. Deliver meals — Delivering meals to people who can’t leave their homes is a great way to help those in need. Meal organizations are often looking for help. You’ll have to drive, of course, but your children will help brighten the person’s day.
11. Work in a community garden — Getting your kids to give their time pulling weeds and digging in the dirt is a great way to teach them about where food comes from and the science of plants.
Whatever you decide to do, you’ll notice the benefits in your children right away. Teaching them to do random acts of kindness will help them live happier, healthier lives. Once they learn that they, too, can make a positive change, the sky is their limit.
To learn more about Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey’s opportunities for youth and families, give us a call at 732.505.2273 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.