Monday, August 15, 2016

Six Ways Kids Can Give Back to Their Community

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We have lived in the same home in the city I grew up in for over ten years now.  One of our goals for our three kids is to teach them to love others around them; whether it's our next door neighbour or someone struggling across the community, we want them to be aware of the various needs and feel like they have the tools to contribute to a solution.  If our kids are physically helping us with an activity or just watching us contribute, there are many things we can do to demonstrate love to others.

What are six ways that kids can give back to their community?
  1.   Be neighbourly.  We live in row homes and therefore our front yards are small and connected. It takes no time at all to cut the surrounding neighbours' lawns and as a recipient of this act, we know it's so appreciated!  Our oldest son has started cutting the lawn and now he knows the work that goes into it and can give the neighbours a helping hand. There are many other ways to be neighbourly such as collecting their mail when they go on holidays or inviting their kids to join our own in a road hockey game.                                                                                            

  2. 2. Support local businesses.  We love to pick berries as a family at local farms and buy our vegetables from nearby stands.  There are also many work-at-home parents that have small businesses; from kids clothing to art for our walls–we enjoy supporting those in our own community.

    3.  Contribute to the food bank.  At our local grocery store there is a bin that collects items for the food bank.  As a foster family, we know that poverty is one of the main factors that can eventually contribute to kids being in care–we personally know those that depend on the food bank for their families and want to be able to help them.  We let our kids choose an item to donate and put in the bin.

    4.  Attend community events.  If we want these fun services and resources to continue then we need to attend them. From the Park Play to nature programs, we want to support what our own city has to offer.

    5.  Pick up garbage together.  My oldest son and I have spent several hours walking around our neighbourhood parks picking up garbage together.  It started as a service project for school and I thought he would be embarrassed but instead it was a great opportunity to connect and talk about caring for the world around us (and get those steps in!).

    6. Donate their gently used clothing and toys to local charities.  There are many organizations that depend on these donations.  Have your kids physically put the items in the donation bins or bring them to the local thrift store.  Don't forget to check out deals to support those thrift stores too!

Actions often speak louder than words so having our kids see us participate or having them do it on their own is a great way to teach them how to contribute to the community that they are part of.  I would love to hear some more ideas on teaching your kids to give back–what else would you add?



  1. So many amazing ways to involve our kids!! Great post, Louise! :)

  2. I wish there were more posts like this one! :) The local animal shelters here in Florida allow kids aged 10 and up to read to the dogs. It may not be the best "giving back to the community" work, but it's nice to see children volunteering their time for the benefit of an animal. :)

    1. Thank you! What a sweet idea–my boys would love that.