Kids can learn very important life lessons from volunteering their time for good causes. As parents, it is a great idea to provide opportunities for your kids to volunteer. A good way to inspire them is with the story of Mother Teresa. Here are some ideas of how your kids can volunteer to help make the world a better place. Try calling around to any of these places in your community to find out if they could use some help.

Try volunteering with your child at your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter, or organize a food drive at your place of worship or at your child’s school. Providing food for those who need it is a very humbling experience.

Another idea is to call your local retirement home and find out if there is anything you and your child can do. Sometimes something as simple as collecting magazines for the residents to read is needed, and sometimes they can use volunteers to talk with the residents and do crafts or other activities together.

Something very relatable for your child might be to visit sick children in the hospital and bring gifts for them, especially around holidays. Try making gift baskets, or even get care packages together with activities for the child such as a coloring book and crayons, and maybe some snacks (find out beforehand if the children have any dietary restrictions). There are many children who are very sick and unfortunately have to spend their holiday in the hospital. The same can be done for adults patients as well.

In addition to helping people, there are also animals out there who could benefit from love and care. Animal shelters, often full of abandoned and sometimes abused animals, can always use help from volunteers. Cleaning up and helping to feed the animals are things your child may be able to do. Sometimes even just going there to play with them and show them love and care can help make a difference, especially if the animal has lived a hard life.

Finally, not only humans and animals could use help, but also the Earth. Volunteering to help clean littered areas, plant trees, or helping at recycling centers benefits the earth, but ultimately also benefits us by reducing pollution and making the earth a better place to live in.

For more things you can do as a parent to help your kids, see this blog post.