We believe that kids are empowered by their contribution to the world around them and that service is a natural way for young people to assert their positive qualities. By serving others, kids develop compassion and establish connections with people of diverse cultures and economic situations. Volunteering helps kids develop positive self-esteem and learn valuable life lessons. Youth volunteering:
- Promotes a healthy lifestyle and choices – Kids who volunteer are less likely to become involved in at-risk behaviors.
- Enhances development – Volunteering heightens psychological, social and intellectual development and growth.
- Teaches life skills – Volunteering stimulates skills needed for a productive adulthood, including responsibility for tasks. Children learn punctuality, cooperation, tolerance, problem solving and teamwork.
- Improves the community – Kids have the opportunity to be resources and contributors to their communities.
- Encourages a lifelong service ethic – Kids who volunteer early learn the importance of service and have a higher chance of continuing to volunteer later in life.
One of the reasons kids give for not being more involved in their communities is lack of good resources on volunteer opportunities. If you can’t start a Kids Care Club now, you can still help your kids to volunteer. Check out some of these resources to find opportunities to volunteer with your kids in your community:
- generationOn - go to generationOn.org for project ideas for kids, teens and parents and service-learning curriculum for teachers. generationOn is the newly-created youth service division of Points of Light Institute, an organization that inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world.
- HandsOn Action Centers - Click on the Action Center Map to find a center near you.
- Volunteer Centers – Go to www.1-800-Volunteer.org to connect with your local Volunteer Center and search for a local opportunity by issue and zip code.
- Social services or human services department
- Shelters, soup kitchens, food banks or food pantries
- The humane society or animal shelter
- Parks and recreation departments
- Senior centers, nursing or retirement homes
- The child life specialist at your local hospital
- Local chapters of national organizations that provide local opportunities such as Special Olympics, Meals for Wheels, The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, March for Dimes or Habitat for Humanity, Inc.