The Commission seeks to foster civic engagement and leadership development in youth and families and increase the number of young people serving in their communities. Youth service is a proven strategy that promotes positive social behaviors, prepares youth for the workplace, and provides them with lifelong habits of leadership, problem-solving, empathy, and self-reliance. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, “a child who has a parent who volunteers is nearly three times more likely to volunteer on a regular basis.” Children of all ages can benefit from volunteering and giving back to the community. Not only have studies shown that kids that serve have strengthened academic learning and gained civic skills, but they also tend to be happier.
Organizations and Project Ideas:
- Local Food Pantries and Homeless Shelters
- Plant fruits and vegetables to donate to a food pantry.
- Shop together for toiletries and sort them into bags for residents at a homeless shelter.
- Serve a meal together as a family at a local soup kitchen.
- Senior Centers
- Visit a senior center together and entertain the residents playing games or telling stories.
- Animal Shelters
- Bake dog treats or make dogs and cat toys and donate them to the shelter.
- Foster animals when the shelter is at capacity.
- Invite the whole family. Use your volunteer activities as an opportunity to spend time with family members you don’t see every day. Strengthen your entire family by including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in your volunteering activities.
- Big Hearted Families- Books, games and inspiration for families who want to volunteer together.
- Youth Service America- Ideas to get kids excited about volunteering.
- Parent Further- Ideas for parents to engage the whole family in volunteering.
- Service Project Tool Kit- Step by step instructions on planning a service project with your family, neighbors and friends.