As you may have read, our family is doing 12 months of giving back. In an effort to teach my kids gratitude and caring for others, we are picking an activity each month that focuses solely on giving to others.
We are in our 4th month and now that the holidays are over, I have compiled a list of activities to choose from. This month we will be donating to Mittens For Detroit. Winters here in the Motor City are tough and my kids want to make sure other kids have a pair of gloves just like them.
In the meantime, I hope this list helps your family give to others. Some items listed are quick and easy for your child to do and others may take a longer time commitment.
- Leader Dogs for the blind– On-campus volunteers or puppy trainers
- Meals on Wheels
- Volunteer at an animal shelter – Ask to walk the dogs, make blankets for their beds or help clean their kennels. You can also volunteer through PAWS
- Park Clean UP
- Food Shelter / Bank – Metro Detroit area – Gleaners and Forgotten Harvest
- Letters to service men
- Donate candy to servicemen – This was our first month’s gratitude post and you can read it here.
- Special Olympics
- Voices of youth –
- Certify your garden – We will be doing this one in the summer 🙂
- Make warm scarves to donate. Collect clothing, blankets, toys, disposable diapers, and personal care items and donate to homeless shelters.
- Make blankets to donate. Many organizations accept blankets. We recently made some with our Girl Scouts Troop and donated them to a foster care organization, Roots.
- Collect clothing, blankets, toys, disposable diapers, and personal care items and donate to homeless shelters.
- Simply Shoeboxes – This was our November project. We filled shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse.
- http://www.yvc.org/volunteer/ (11-18 yrs)
- Volunteer to help a family at your local Ronald McDonald House
- Walk (or run) as a family for the charity of your choice.
- Adopt a family at the holidays – we did this in December
- Have a diaper party – Have your children’s friends come over for a play date and everyone brings one pack of diapers (or whatever charity you want)
- Grow your hair out long and donate it to Wigs for Kids
- Donate books for Books for Kids – a charity provide books to low-income families
- Order your holiday cards from the Kids/ Food Basket – Each holiday card you purchase provides at least 5 sack suppers to local kids!
- Donate Blood
- Mittens For Detroit
- Helping Hungry Children
- Send a postcard to a sick child
- Spend a few minutes on Free Rice, a United Nations Food Program that will donate rice to hungry people for every question you get right on their learning web site. You can learn vocabulary, French, Chemistry and even answer SAT prep questions. This is made possible through corporate sponsors you’ll see on the bottom of the pages. Free Rice has fed millions of people since its 2007 launch.
Acts of Kindness- Toddler Volunteer Ideas
When looking for places to volunteer, I ran into some obstacles with the age of my son. He is only 5 and many places wanted children 8 and over. Here are some things to do no matter their age.
- Bake for neighbor
- Draw pictures for your neighbors
- Notes for the elderly
- Chores for neighbors
- Donate a toy
- Visit a nursing home
- Donate extra vegetables you grow to a food pantry
- Pick up litter in your neighborhood
- Let someone go ahead of you in line
- Ask for donations to your favorite charity instead of birthday presents
- Send a postcard to a friend or family member that lives outside your state
- Bring flowers to your teacher or daycare provider
- Weed a neighbor’s garden
- Hold the door open for someone
- Wave at a stranger
- Set the table
- Sing a song to an elderly person
- Say something nice about your friend
- Plant a tree
- Pay for someone’s toll or food in the drive-thru line
- Let a friend borrow your toy
- See a person or group of people trying to take a selfie, offer to take the picture for them
Some organizations you may want to check out
Earn a President’s Volunteer Service Award for your volunteer work. People of all ages can sign up, track their hours, and search for volunteer opportunities through United We Serve.