Like most moms, I have always wanted teach my kids the value of kindness and helping those in need. Whether it’s a smile or a hug for someone who is having a rough day, volunteering at a local food bank, adopt-a-family programs, or donating gently used toys to those who are in need, all acts of giving, large or small, have value. In the hustle and bustle of life, sometimes I forget that there are many ways to give back. I often look for volunteer events that my kids can participate in. There are many ways to volunteer locally, but it can be tricky to find events that work with your family’s schedule.
Volunteering is an eye-opening and rewarding experience. It helps us get outside of our bubble and be of service to others. For those busy times in life where it is difficult to volunteer in-person, I’ve made a list of giving opportunities that can be done mostly from home (some of them include a trip to the store or a drop-off as well) and work great with kids.
Valley of the Sun United Way- At-home volunteer activities
Valley of the Sun United Way aims to break the cycle of poverty for families in Maricopa county. They have many volunteer activities that can be done at home with your kids. These include a Back to School Supply Drive, Book-in-a-Bag, Encouragement Cards, and many others. My kids did a Garden in a Bag activity and we collected seeds, gardening tools and a book about gardening and talked about how giving someone these tools will help them grow food to feed their family.
Cards for Hospitalized Kids
Cards for Hospitalized Kids is a charitable organization that spreads hope to children in hospitals through handmade cards. Your kids can create cards with encouraging messages on them and then all you have to do is send them to the address on the site and they will distribute them!
Phoenix Children’s Hospital Donations
Phoenix Children’s Hospital is a wonderful hospital that supports many children who need medical care. My girls and I donated a bag of toys and games a few years ago and we talked about how it might cheer up children who are in hospital. All you have to do is take your child to a store and gather a few toys, arts & crafts, games or gift cards to donate to the Child Life program. This program helps make a child’s stay in the hospital more pleasant and comfortable. See the list of items needed here and make sure items are new, non-toxic, and non-food items. Contact [email protected] or call the hospital to schedule a donation.
Love for the Elderly- Letters of Love
Love for the Elderly is a wonderful site created by an 18-year-old Yale student and aims to bring joy into the lives of the elderly. The Letters of Love program delivers encouraging notes to seniors to help cheer them up and brighten their day. Visit this page to see the guidelines for letters and where to send them. This would also be a great way for kids to practice their writing skills.
Donating Gently Used Items
Have your kids go through their toys and see if there are any they’d like to donate to those who are in need. Schedule a pick up or drop off the toys to a local Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona or another local organization that accepts donations.
What is your favorite way of giving back and getting your kids involved?