Raise kind kids and show them just how awesome they can be. Here’s 8 simple ways to give back to the community and further afield. Join our conspiracy of kindness with these family acts of kindness!
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” John Holmes
Do your kids have amazing powers of observation? Mine had selective eyes. They wouldn’t notice the dirty socks on the floor, but they could spot me trying to sneak a chocolate bar into the house a mile away!
Often times they surprised me. They wouldn’t be able to see their lost book even though it was right under their noses. But they saw the homeless man lying on the street. The one I walked past without a second glance.
“Mom why is that man lying on the street? Where does he live mom? Is he hungry? Why doesn’t anyone help him Mom?”
Somehow the toys scattered all over the floor were invisible to them, but they always noticed when there was a need.
And they always wanted to help.
Children tend to be kind
Children are naturally caring and kind. It is a wonderful attribute to nurture. And here’s the best part – children who are encouraged to be kind when they are young tend to grow up to be kind adults.
However, kindness isn’t just learned from watching their parents (although it is important to model caring behaviour). It’s taught best by doing.
When we let our kids engage in acts of kindness it has a HUGE impact on them.
Not only do they get to help build a better world, but they also get the chance to feel really awesome and that is the best feeling ever. Right?
Do you want to raise kind kids and show them just how awesome they can be? Let’s get started!
8 Simple Ways Awesome Families Can Give Back
1. Help your neighbours
This is a great place to start. It is a great way to get to know your neighbours and build a sense of community. You could
- Shovel a neighbour’s walkway.
- Bring in their garbage can.
- Place some valentine candy in a bag, tie a ribbon around it, and hang it on your neighbour’s doors.
- Bring a meal to new parents, or families coping with sickness.
- Make a point of waving and smiling.
2. Make a Microloan
Microloans are small loans given to people without access to traditional financing. They are often awarded to individuals in developing countries, and can be life changing. They allow people to start, or expand their own business, get an education, or improve living conditions.
It only take $25 to get started and once the loan is paid back you can re-loan it. It is the gift that keeps giving.
One of my favourite charities is Kiva. Click here for more information about making a Kiva loan.
3. Give Up Something
Talk about the idea of donating and how it benefits others. Ask family members pick out one thing in good condition they would like to share. This could include gently used toys, clothes, books, or craft supplies. Go as a family to donate these items to an organization that helps others.
4. Volunteer in Your Community
Community organizations are often looking for volunteers to help. Check at food banks, libraries, soup kitchens, faith communities, animal shelters, and environmental groups.
5. Pick Up Litter
This is a simple project that can have a big impact. Get into the habit of picking up litter on your street as you walk by or organize a larger clean up project. For more information check out the Litter Project.
6. Help seniors
Many seniors appreciate a helping hand to do day-to-day chores. Others suffer from loneliness, especially if they are home-bound, or confined to a nursing home. You could
- Volunteer to do yard work at an elderly neighbour’s house.
- Invite a senior to join your family for meals or movie nights.
- Adopt a senior in a nursing home and visit regularly.
- Make and deliver tray favors for a nursing home. Here’s a cute one for Valentine’s Day.
7. Make a Basket of Smiles
Think about the people in your community that serve your family (teachers, local police, firefighters, nurses). Invite your children to help you make up a basket of tasty treats to bring a smile to their faces. You could also write notes of thanks and pop them in the basket. Go as a family to deliver the gift.
8. Donate to the Food Bank
Another simple ways to reach out. Unfortunately hunger is an ever-present reality for many people. Food banks are always in need of donations.
- Make it a habit to buy something for the food bank every time you shop. Include your children by asking them to pick out one item to donate. Have them put it in the donation box or take it to the food bank.
- When you have a birthday party, ask guests to bring donations to the food bank instead of gifts.
- One week each month make an effort to use the food you already have in your house. Instead of going for more groceries make meals with the contents of your fridge, freezer or pantry. Use the money you save to buy donations for the food bank.
There are so many opportunities to give back
There are so many opportunities to give back. Sometimes the hardest part is choosing! I believe any acts of kindness (no matter how small) have a powerful impact on those who give and those who receive.
So go out and do something kind with your family! I believe in you!
Oh and if you figure out how to get your children to see the toys on the floor drop me a line. We could make a fortune selling that secret!
Now it’s your turn
How does your family give back? Which of the 8 suggestions will you try?
Want to read more?
Pennies of Time is a website dedicated to helping families discover how to care for others. They emphasize small acts of kindness that have a big impact.
Take a look at my Acts of Kindness For Kids board on Pinterest.
Follow Rediscovered Families’s board Acts of Kindness For Kids on Pinterest