Volunteering for young kids - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 10-24-2010, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I want to get involved in community service, especially for the benefit of my kids. I already run a co-op and they help with that but I want more human interaction for them. Anyone do volunteering with their kids? Mine are 8, 5 and (almost) 3. I know they are young so perhaps what they can do is limited...

Thanks for ideas!

Kimberly DH of 8 years DS 08/2002 DS 04/2005 DD 11/2007
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#2 of 7 Old 10-24-2010, 10:03 PM
 
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I've been trying to find the perfect volunteer opportunity for a couple years & it's hard! We've helped with PADS, provided childcare for teen moms during a local monthly meeting & gathered school supplies for needy kids. I've also looked into "adopting" a family through World Relief which is basically just being their friend & helping them transition but I haven't committed yet. I'll be interested to hear what others have to say!

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#3 of 7 Old 10-24-2010, 10:24 PM
 
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We do a lot of volunteering and social justice type projects. Some of it is regular volunteering activities and others are one off activities. You can read about some of the activities we do on my blog (I'm linking to the post on family volunteering).

We've set up a spin off group from our homeschool group of families interested in community action activities. We just started in September and have done a peace day program, a shoreline clean up, a baking day for a Thanksgiving shelter dinner, packing Thanksgiving food boxes and we are gathering this week to make wool squares to send to a blankets of African Aids Orphans project. I've found for us having a group of friends who are interested in being involved has made it easier to do certain types of programs and volunteer commitments and it means that there are families that my kids know and will take direction from if I am busy with another kid - more hands on deck sorts of things. A lot of this stuff I organize through community connections or are opportunities we have found online and have turned into a group thing by gathering to do them together.

It can be challenging to find groups willing to take on the energy of children volunteers. Our best successes have been an organization which packs boxes (food and hygiene) as well as does a number of First Nations outreach programs. The other thing we have worked well with is a volunteer based nursery where the kids do lots of activities with the seedlings and trees.

Good luck!
Karen

Blessed partner to a great guy, and mama to 4 amazing kids. Unfortunate target of an irrationally angry IRL stalker.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha

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#4 of 7 Old 10-25-2010, 08:36 AM
 
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I have found if you let the kids invent their own project, they have more ownership and interest in it.

This week our co-op is doing a hometown helper theme. The kids are coming to the group with a problem they know of in their community. Together the kids will brainstorm a solution that the child can carry out him/herself. For example, my son noticed last year that the diving board squeeks and the paint is chipping at our pool. He also found out that the drain needs to be replaced. But, the pool fund does not have enough money to fix it. So, he and his friends will think of ways they can help.

J - Homeschooling mom to H (1/20/05), Z (11/6/06) and C (8/22/08)
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#5 of 7 Old 10-26-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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My kids are 6, 5, 3, (almost) 2 and (almost) 2 months. Because I have the younger 3 which are quite limited in abilities as far as helping,and I don't want to be 'in the way' as far as keeping an eye on them, we do things that don't involve large crowds, or any crowds at all.

We pick up garbage from local parks or on the sidewalks as we go on walks, bake baked goods for bake sales (fund raising for local organizations, good causes,etc.), and consider how we can help individuals with things they may need help with (shoveling snow, picking up items from a store, helping people move, etc.) instead of getting involved in a place where I and the younger 3 may be too much in the way and slow down the pace of things where the older two could probably help out.

As my crew gets older, it is a goal of mine to do some sort of public community service on a regular basis where we can all truley be a big help. I want to develop a heart of service in my kids, but I do think that can be developed by helping individuals as opposed to always doing something public... Just incase you're concerned about the little one 'being in the way' as I am with my youngest 3!
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#6 of 7 Old 10-26-2010, 11:07 PM
 
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We've done a few things with my older (6 yr old) daughter. We've done Meals on Wheels, we've visited shut-in elderly people and had her chat with them, and we've had her work with children of recent refugees at our local refugee center.

Homesteading, unschooling mama of three.
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#7 of 7 Old 11-02-2010, 07:06 PM
 
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We've had a great time volunteering at a little patch of woods near us - they have a big clean-up day twice a year, and we've done it twice and found it really exciting. Our just-turned 4 yo loves it, because we go hiking there a lot, so he's really committed, and the baby (just turned 1) still manages on our backs. Not sure what will happen when he doesn't want to be up, but...
Last time we did litter pickup, and the time before, we hauled and shoveled mulch and raked it into a new hiking path. Awesome.
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