As adults, it is our responsibility to teach young children what it means to be a good citizen.  It is our job to show them how to take care of others and the community - a skill that will last throughout their lifetime.  Here are some great ideas to try as a family:

  1. Having a party?  Ask the guests to bring donations to Blue Santa, the Food Bank, a children’s shelter or another non-profit group.  Our son is having a “pet party” next year to collect food and pet supplies for our local animal shelter. 
  2. “Adopt” a neighbor.  Have your child check on the neighbor from time to time, draw pictures and share little snippets of his or her day.  Older neighbors who aren’t feeling well, are unable to leave the house or live alone will appreciate something fresh and different in their daily routine from time to time.  If your child chooses to share cookies or something similar, though, check for dietary restrictions first.  Sometimes just playing a card game or helping retrieve the mail is a wonderful gift for an older person.
  3. Have a “Fashion Show”.  Have your child model all of their clothing, and together decide if it still fits or should be donated to a worthy organization.  Then have him/her choose the charity to donate and take him/her along to give away the clothes.
  4. Teach your child to share his or her talents.  If your child is taking music lessons, offer a “free concert” for some neighbors.  Or, if younger children are around, allow your child to read to one of them.  Likewise, read to older adults as well, especially those with poor eyesight or in a nursing home.  If your child has a special interest or hobby, have him or her share it with another child or a close adult.