By Rochelle Runge, UServeUtah
Finally, the much anticipated event has arrived: Summer! The kids, initially excited for a break, now spend their days in idle boredom, trying to entertain themselves and pestering you to entertain them.
“Mom, I’m bored, there’s nothing to do!”
“Hey! Dad, can we have something to eat?”
“MOM, can we DO something!”
Does this sound familiar? Are your kids bored and driving you crazy? Are you looking for a way to keep them engaged this summer?
Why not make it a Summer of Service? Research shows that service benefits youth in many ways such as improved academic performance and mental health, and a reduction of high-risk behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse. Volunteering is also a great way for kids to make friends, stay active, learn new skills, and build a strong résumé. Studies show that when people begin volunteering at a young age it develops into a life-long commitment. So why not encourage the youth in your life to make a difference in their community and make it a Summer of Service?
Kid-Friendly Service Ideas
Getting involved is easy. Check out some of our suggestions below or organize a service project wherever there is a need in your community!
- Mow a neighbor’s lawn
- Volunteer at an animal shelter
- Sort food at a local food bank
- Pick up litter at a local park
- Find more ideas visit UServeUtah’s Pinterest Page or our website
Utah Youths Get Involved in their Communities
During previous summers, many kids decided to get involved and serve their communities. Twelve year old Armani from Farr West hosted a lemonade stand, bake sale, BBQ, and raffle to help earn money for backpacks and school supplies for kids in need. She also volunteered at Bridging the Gap and the Alpine Outreach Center. “I love to know I’m making a positive difference in the world. I love helping people and making people happy,” stated Armani. Sophie, age 15, from Brigham City read to kids at the library and served food at her local food kitchen. These great volunteers and the many other Summer of Service participants are true community ambassadors of volunteerism. They are young leaders making a real difference and creating a new definition of “summer fun.”
UServeUtah’s Sumer of Service- Extra Incentive
“But what’s in it for me?” your child might ask.
With most things, kids need something tangible to pique their interest. Not to worry! UServeUtah has got your back. Sign them up for Summer of Service! In addition to the “helper’s high,” (that feel-good sensation you get from doing acts of service) youth ages 5-25 who participate in the Summer of Service are eligible for monthly prize drawings by tracking their service hours online on our website and sharing their stories, photos, and videos on social media using hashtag #utsos16.
Volunteering doesn’t only benefit the community but also the volunteer. Youth who volunteer 50-100 hours, depending on their age, can earn the Presidential Service Award which is a great addition to any college or scholarship application or résumé. Youth eligible for the Presidential Service Award will receive a personalized certificate, official pin, and a congratulatory letter signed by the President of the United States.
So why not put an end to your kid’s boredom and nagging? Make a difference in the community and win some great prizes like Tuacahn tickets, Boondocks passes, and more. Don’t let your kids suffer from brain drain, keep them involved. Get your kids out there, teach them the value of serving their communities, have fun, and make this a summer of service! Any type of activity involving service in the community qualifies for Summer of Service. Learn more how to get involved on our Summer of Service page.