Last school year, my sons school held a bake sale and accepted monetary donations to fundraise for those affected by the wildfire in Fort McMurray. This was not the decision of the school faculty, it was not the decision of the parents but the decision of the children who wanted nothing more than help those in need.
This proved something that I knew all along – kids have tremendous hearts. With the right guidance and the right tools, they can make this world a better place and it all starts within our own communities.
- 1. Keeping it clean. Take the time to look around and pick up the trash in your neighborhood. Make sure you’re wearing gloves and the kids know to leave anything with sharp edges to the adults; glass, needles, tin cans, etc…
- 2. Random acts of kindness. It’s up to us to show our kids holding the door open for a stranger, helping an elderly person with their bags, leaving mini-care packages on your neighbor’s door…it’s amazing how going out of your way to do something nice not only brightens someone else’s day but yours also.
- 3. Fundraise for local programs and community centers. Yard sales, lemonade stands, bake sales, car washes, mowing lawns, walking dogs, collecting cans…are all kid-friendly ways to collect money that can be donated for use on local projects.
- 4. Donate. Show your kids that rather than selling or throwing out our gently used clothing, it can be donated. Men’s clothing is especially needed at local homeless shelters and children’s clothing can be donated to the Salvation Army to be sold in their thrift stores where 100% of the profits (after operation costs) go toward the charities they support. Have them drop off non-perishable food items at any Local Food Banks of Canada and pet food at local animal shelters.
- 5. Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer…Our local homeless shelter allows families with children in grade 8 and younger to volunteer. It’s important to show our children that there are those less fortunate than us, those that they should show empathy towards but at the same time not judge and treat as equals.
For more information on either of the local charities mentioned in this post please visit https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/ and http://www.salvationarmy.ca/. I encourage you to not only give back to your community in any way you can but to teach your kids how they can too because soon it will be their generation’s turn to try and turn this world around.