Kids who volunteer benefit in many ways. In addition to having fun, volunteering enhances development, promotes a healthy lifestyle choices, teaches social responsibility, creates a lifelong ethic of service and improves the community.
We are thrilled to have the continued support of several generations working side-by-side to support friends and neighbors in need. Here are five ways to get your kids involved in their community through volunteering to carry on the legacy of giving.
1. Fill the Pantry by Holding a Drive
Whether you’re collecting canned food, paper products or shampoo, the basic concept is the same: gather the collective power of small, individual donations to make a BIG impact.
The Bellevue LifeSpring Food and Basic Needs Pantry relies 100% on donations to keep the shelves stocked. Pantry items are delivered to children and their families who are in crisis, ensuring that even those who are struggling have access to nutrition, toiletries and household items that many people take for granted.
Even small drives can produce tremendous impact. Just one grocery bag of food will provide critical relief for a family in need. Think creatively and you can come up with countless fun ideas for drives. Have your kids host a movie night with a healthy snack as admission. Or ask your local grocery store if you can distribute a list of most-needed basic needs to shoppers and ask them to pick up an extra bottle of shampoo or detergent.
2. Clean Your Closet
Running out of hangers? Can’t close the closet doors? When your kid’s room hits maximum capacity, it’s past time to purge. Try getting your kids involved in the cleanup process by having them help you sort through old clothing, coats and shoes.
Encourage your children to look thoughtfully at items and make a “keep” and a “give” pile. Help them make the connection that the clothing they are donating may make a great new outfit for a child in need.
All donations to the Thrift Culture are greatly appreciated. However, due to limited space, the shop can only accept and sell donations that are new or like-new. Only bring it if you would buy it!
3. Holiday Adopt-A-Family™
Share the spirit of giving during the holiday season by sponsoring a family for Christmas through Bellevue LifeSpring’s Holiday Adopt-A-Family™ program. Sponsors can be made up of church groups, schools, scouting organizations or your own family.
Kids have always been a big part of our Holiday Adopt-A-Family program. In 2013, a generous girl chose to sponsor a family and asked her birthday party guests to bring food items rather than gifts. The local chapter of the National Charity League have made hats and scarves to contribute.
4. Become a Thrift Culture Volunteer
Sign up for a volunteer shift at Bellevue LifeSpring’s thrift shop, Thrift Culture, and give your kids experience in a retail setting. When they’re applying for summer jobs later, they’ll have the résumé of a seasoned worker. The shop is a great place to volunteer side-by-side with your kids. You’ll be working the register, sorting donations, stocking the shop floor or pricing new merchandise.
Thrift Culture is operated almost exclusively by volunteers. The Kemper Freeman family and The Bellevue Collection only charge Bellevue LifeSpring $1 per year in rent, ensuring that more income benefits Bellevue LifeSpring services supporting families in need.
5. Count Your Change
Pennies really do add up! Start a change jar with your kids and watch the pile of coins grow. Encourage your kids to donate a portion of their allowance or add coins for every point the Seahawks score!
Take it a step further and teach your kids about the power of matching. For every dollar they raise, you match the dollar, allowing their donation to go twice as far.