Volunteering is a great way to teach children about appreciating what they have and helping others. It is also a great experience for families to do together to strengthen bonds. A guaranteed outcome will be meeting new friends and feeling more involved in the community. Children will learn new skills and get to explore different activities. Youth who volunteer are more likely to do better in school and less likely to engage in risky behavior. I may be rushing things a bit for our readers, but students who volunteer are 19% more likely to graduate from college. By encouraging your children to do community service now, you are making it more likely that they will continue to do so as adults. One study showed that adults who started volunteering as children donate to and volunteer for charitable organizations more often than those who did not. Studies even show that volunteering increases happiness! Who doesn’t love an extra dose of happy?
Check out Red Tricycle’s article What Gives? Volunteer Opportunities for Children for a list of some family-friendly charities in Atlanta for you and your children to become involved with. Fur Kids is an animal shelter that lets children help take care of the animals waiting for homes. Help your children put together a “Hero Box” for service men and women who are overseas. Piedmont Park’s Clean and Green program teaches kids as young as five how to keep their parks clean, as well as basic gardening techniques. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has a program for little ones to do service projects around the hospital. Gather meals and toiletries with your children to donate to the Ronald McDonald House. There are also lots of walks raising money for different illnesses throughout the year for kids to become involved in.
You can visit handsonatlanta.org for even more organizations to become involved with. On the left there is an option to refine the search to “appropriate for children” which is super helpful. Tons of opportunities will pop up, such as helping at farmer’s markets, working with senior citizens, and assisting under-served children in the city.