Have you ever contributed your talents to a volunteerism project? The need for volunteers to address different global humanitarian concerns like poverty, malnutrition, homelessness, abuse, and others is very crucial now more than ever. Many people all over the world need help as they struggle to uplift their current state of life. Everyone, even young children, should know the importance of volunteering for a cause and must be guided on how they can participate actively in it. Simple acts like encouraging kids to volunteer with animals through animal rights groups can be a start. Here are some ways on how to teach kids about volunteerism:
1. Start even before they reach preschool – While teaching kindergarten students may be a practical way to impart volunteerism wisdom, it’s never too early to start while they’re still toddlers. Take them to an animal shelter or facility and give them a chance to volunteer with animals through simple feeding and petting tasks. Simple acts done with great love makes a whole lot of difference.
2. Incorporate volunteer work as one of the school projects – If you’re a preschool teacher, you may want to consider revising your kindergarten teaching curriculum to include volunteer work as part of school projects. If you’re a parent, you may bring up the subject of volunteerism during parent-teacher meetings. Some of the volunteering jobs that kids may join in are visits to child care facilities, participation in park cleaning projects, and involvement in food preparation activities.
3. Include them when you join a child sponsorship program – You can also take your kids’ charitable work experience from simple volunteer with animals task to a more challenging mission, like caring for children who are less fortunate. First, you need to sign up with a reputable volunteer or charitable organization that will allow you to be a sponsor and provide for a child’s basic needs like food, clothing, and education. Your kids can act as a co-sponsor by writing letters and sending art works to the child you are helping. They can be the source of great love through simple but thoughtful gestures. If the organization permits, you may even get the chance to visit your sponsor child! Since most of the recipients of this type of charitable work are found in what is presently considered as third world countries, you can even be a volunteer teaching overseas recipients of practical knowledge that you wish to share.
4. Look for volunteer work everywhere – If you don’t have the means to travel overseas to help the needy, you can very well help your local community accomplish different social welfare projects. Ask local city officials if they are in need of volunteers for various humanitarian tasks. Encourage your kids to join in any project that is age-appropriate.
The great news is that there are many organizations and institutions that provide eager, would-be volunteers a chance to be involved in volunteerism projects, like Involvement Volunteers International or IVI. Volunteer projects organized by IVI are categorized by countries and they have a comprehensive program structure that is available to all willing and able-bodied volunteers.