“He who wished to secure the good of others has already secured his own.”
It’s so often true that when we set out to help others, we end up helping ourselves. Volunteering to help out in our communities is one such activity.
Whether handing out free meals to disaster victims, walking dogs at the local animal shelter, or cleaning up trash along local waterways, young people can receive a host of benefits from community service.
Among them are:
- A sense of connection with others
Volunteering brings young people into contact with the wider world, and helps them realize what combined efforts can accomplish. It also helps combat depression by keeping them active and combating social isolation.
- Increased social and relationship skills
Especially over the last year, when kids have largely been confined to their screens rather than interacting freely with their peers, volunteering can help them learn to make friends and communicate with others outside their normal social circle.
- Increased self-confidence
Learning new skills and knowing you’ve accomplished something worthwhile can increase self-confidence, self-esteem, and offer a strong sense of identity.
All these benefits give kids the solid grounding they need to avoid resorting to unhealthy choices like drugs and alcohol.
Lead by example
The best way to encourage children to become engaged in community service is to be a role model yourself. If you make regular community service a family activity, kids can see first hand the positive impact of helping others.
For ideas on how to encourage this valuable venture, be sure to check out this month’s Family Table Time
activity kit. One of this month’s topics designed to build strong, lasting bonds with your family is community service. (The others are study habits, encouragement, and choices.)
Family Table Time is an innovative, 52-week family activity kit that offers an agenda for family meetings, character-based conversation starters, quick and healthy family recipes, and suggestions for fun family physical activities.
You can receive a free, four-week subscription to this valuable tool we created to help bring your family closer.