Community service, especially around the holidays, offers an ideal opportunity for families to have fun and feel closer to each other at the same time. Community service can show kids and teens that giving their time, effort and kindness is more rewarding than receiving lots of presents.
Also, if community service begins at an early age, it can become part of your kids’ lives—something they just want to do. It can teach them:
Community service can teach kids that giving comes in many forms, not just as presents. Emphasize that giving of themselves can mean so much more—and last longer—than any gift that money can buy.
Juneau spent the first 40 days of her life in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Due to her prematurity, she developed hydrocephalus which required numerous brain surgeries in her young life. After a series of difficult events, her care was transferred to CHOC Children’s. Juneau was inspired to start a fundraiser for CHOC to thank the team who did so much for her, and honor a family friend who spent years volunteering in a NICU.
Teens and pre-teens may not always have philanthropy on their active minds, but volunteering their time can have a healthy impact on their development and help establish a sense of community. Encouraging them to commit random acts of kindness is also a wonderful way for them to learn about empathy for others, says Dr. Mery Taylor, a CHOC Children’s psychologist. It can, however, be a challenge for young teens and pre-teens to find volunteer opportunities because of age restrictions.
Here at CHOC, we see many remarkable stories every day of people giving to children in need. What better way to show your little ones the importance of giving, than to teach them to give to another child? We gladly accept donations of brand new toys that can be used in our playrooms, at a patient’s bedside, in our waiting rooms, or as gifts for birthdays, holidays or other special occasions.