They have nice clothes to wear, plenty of toys, and shelves full of books. They have access to a good education. They live in a well-maintained home in a safe neighborhood. They never go hungry.
Other kids aren't so lucky. And, I need my kids to know that.
So, how do I do that?
I can show them through news articles. I can tell then how lucky they are. But, I just don't think that's effective enough. I want to show my girls how they can help and teach them ways to make a difference in the world.
Volunteering as a family is a great way to start. We don't do it nearly enough. That needs to change.
A good place to start is your local food bank. You'll be making a difference in your own community and helping your own community is an important place to start.
What can you do?
You can start by contacting your local food bank. Do they have any volunteer opportunities? (And double-check to make sure you can volunteer along with your kids.)
What if there aren't any volunteer opportunities for your family? What if your kids are too young to help in an official capacity?
Don't give up. Just get creative! There are plenty of ways you can involve your kids in helping your local food bank.
Here are ideas that are perfect for a family service project to support your local food bank.
Bring Breakfast: Pleasantest Thing found a great opportunity to involve their kids through a special opportunity at their local food bank. You can do something similar by taking your kids shopping for good and healthy non-perishable breakfast food you can donate.
Pack Birthday Boxes: Special treats just aren't a reality for many families that depend on food banks. Help you kids give back to other kids by creating these simple birthday boxes from I Can Teach My Child. It's a simple birthday party in a box, but it would mean so much to any kid.
Shop for a Recipe: Help your child pick out a favorite recipe and then shop for the ingredients. JDaniel4's Mom has a great idea to help you kids plan mindfully, shop, and then donate their food choices.
Go On a Holiday Food Scavenger Hunt: Help make sure your local food pantry is stocked with holiday food favorites with this simple and fun activity. Frogs, Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails created a simple picture-based scavenger hunt to help their kids shop for the food pantry. This is a simple way for even your youngest kids to help.
Stamp Out Hunger: Every year the United States Postal Service does a food drive. Your family leaves food by your mailbox and a postal worker will pick it up and deliver it. The Weaving Ideas has the details you need to participate in their yearly food drive.
Pack a Backpack: Too many kids are not getting enough food. It's heartbreaking. Many communities now have a backpack program where kids receive a backpack at school full of food that they can take home to help combat this hunger. Foster2Forever explains how this works at this link. You can help support this project by shopping together has a family for requested food items.
Start Them Early: Get your toddlers involved. With a lot of parental help, even your youngest kids can get in the practice of giving back. You can find some tips for involving toddlers here at Bits of Positivity.
Host a Neighborhood Food Drive: A food drive doesn't have to be huge. Help your kids start small with a simple food drive in their neighborhood. EDVentures With Kids shows you how.
Have a Food Drive Play Date: Invite a group of your child's friends over to learn about how they can help combat hunger and collect food for your local food bank. It's a great learning experience for all. You can find the details at Coffee Cups and Crayons.
Help your kids make a difference by volunteering as a family. It can change the world.
Find more ways to help here:
12 Months of Family Service Projects at Every Star is Different
20 Service Projects for Kids to Fight Hunger at Lemon Lime Adventures
Using Children's Books to Raise Awareness About Hunger at Bits of Positivity
Find more ways to give back as a family by following my Make a Difference Pinterest Board.
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