When a kid’s a do-gooder, he’s able to relate to others more easily and feels a personal responsibility toward society. Take matters in your own hands and make good deeds a part of everyday life. Four pint-sized philantrophy options:
1. Bake a difference
Make cupcakes and have the kids take them to neighbors, mentioning that they’re collecting donations for charity. Then go online to find a charity and make a donation for immediate gratification.
2. Have a field day
Bring garden gloves and a bag to the park and pick up soda cans or wrappers, or offer to weed an elderly neighbor’s flower bed. “If your child sees the results of his work when he walks by, he’ll get a better understanding of its impact,” says Karen Bantuveris, the founder and CEO of volunteerspot.com, a community service project site.
3. Turn a passion into philanthropy
Is your child musical? Follow Ursula Fuller’s example and entertain seniors at the assisted-living centers. “I’ve been doing it since I was ten,” says the Detroit student, who brings along friends: “Sometimes people act like they don’t want to, but I always get a call later asking ‘When are we going to do that again?’”
4. Help the needy grab a bag
Score a bunch of reusable grocery bags for cheap at overstock.com, and have your children decorate them with fabric paints, glitter glue, and iron-on decals. Then deliver them together to a local meal pantry so families can use them to tote food home.