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Life Lessons through Volunteerism

You want your children to learn proper values, life lessons that will sustain them all of their lives.  Your children’s most powerful learning opportunities come from what they observe you saying and doing as well as what you all do together as a family.  What follow is a list of volunteerism activities that you and your children can use as life lessons.

  • Wash dishes at a soup kitchen.
  • Sort donations at a local shelter house.
  • Be a candy striper for your local hospital.
  • Babysit for donors at a Red Cross blood drive.
  • Deliver meals on wheels.
  • Participate in the prayer chain for your church or synagogue.
  • “Adopt a mile” of a highway near you.
  • Distribute literature on behalf of a non-profit organization.
  • Attend a rally or activity on behalf of a non-profit or worthy cause.
  • Participate in civic organizations (i.e., county citizen corps, youth leadership councils, etc.).
  • Start and maintain a community garden.
  • Paint the house or fence of an elderly neighbor.
  • Shovel snow off the sidewalks of your neighbors.
  • Mow the lawn for your neighbor who is disabled.
  • Anonymously give gifts to a needy family at Christmas.
  • Be vigilant in observing the needs of others (individuals, families, and organizations) and seek to address those needs in situation-appropriate ways.

Whatever volunteerism activities that you pursue, ensure that your children are grasping the life lessons inherent in the activities.  Talk with your children about what lessons you perceived in the volunteerism.  Did you experience empathy?  Gratitude for your many blessings?  A desire to help others?  Ask your children what lessons they perceived as well.  Encourage your children to explore their thoughts and feelings and grow from each volunteerism activity.  These life lessons will shape and sustain your children all of their lives.

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