5 Ideas to Help Kids Give to their Community This Summer
I believe it's never too early to model giving back to our community. Often it's our youngest neighbors who can have the biggest impact in making positive change or shining light on an important cause. There is no requirement or right way to help your kids learn about caring for our neighbors and giving to their community. But here are 5 ideas to help kids give to their community this summer. We'll be doing a few of these: writing to our troops, donating food to our local food bank and handing out free lunches to hungry families in our city.
Try one, two or all of these ideas to keep friends and neighbors in need top of mind this summer as we're running through the sprinkler and enjoying popsicles. There's no guilt here, but a recognition of our blessings and gifts that we are asked to share.
Bake Treats for Rover
Mix up some dog or kitty treats to sell to friends, neighbors, grandparents, extended family, mail carrier, cable guy, soccer coach, swim instructor and anyone else the kids can wrangle out of a few dollars. Use the funds to make a cash donation or product donations to your local animal shelter.
Here's a blue ribbon round up of 9 different canine cookie recipes to try from fabulous food blog The Kitchn.
Thank our American Troops
Write letters and send care packages to our troops through a very caring and reputable organization called Operation Gratitude. You may remember that we donated 13 pounds of Halloween candy to troops via Operation Gratitude last November. They are wonderful and sent the nicest thank you note. We will definitely be donating our candy again! But it's nice to spend an afternoon crafting a care package and note to share our gratitude with the women and men to protect and serve our country.
Here's how to write to troops and where to send your thanks via snail mail.
Run to Help
Train for and sign up to raise funds for a charitable 1 mile, 3k or 5k for older kids. Check with your local children's hospital about coming events to support their efforts or check with your library or community center that should have local event listings.
Pack in the School Supplies
As September approaches and back to school season looms, ask kids to do chores around the house for you or grandma to raise $10 or so to purchase school supplies. Donate these to your local family shelter or foster child organization. My friend K and her mom host an annual event that generates lots of great back to school clothes for kids in need. Consider donating gently used school clothes that the kids are growing out of this spring.
Cook up a Food Drive
Contact your local food bank and ask about which food items they need most now. Then call or drop by your favorite supermarket and ask if you can solicit donations at the front door. Print out small fliers listed needed food items - have the kids design and write these. Hand out the food wish list and have a few decorated bins to collection food donations. If you're in the Seattle area, pick up your Free Food Driving Box from any of our local 27 Seattle area food banks.