June is here and kids are out of school! Why not make 2016 a summer that will have a far lasting impression than that first sunburn.
Summer camps are great, as are family vacations, but helping children realize how to look beyond their own needs and help others is a life-skill that goes beyond play dough sculpting, macramé and s'mores.
This year, involve your kids in helping non-profits in their area, or those causes that are dear to their heart world-wide.
If you want your child to have a purpose worked into their summer camp this year, consider a mission trip. Teen Missions provides short-term missions that show young people first-hand the pressing needs existing around the world. They serve in India Orphanages, Nepal Children's homes, as well as Cuba, China, Madagascar and Trinidad.
If your child shows an interest in animals, encourage them to collect pet food and towels that can be donated to local animal shelters. There are even volunteer opportunities at the Fulton county Animal Services for children aged 14 to 17 as long as a parent goes with them. The LifeLine Animal Project is a non-profit which helps over 1,000 animals a day at their shelters. They have a wish list of cat toys, dog beds, food, collars, blankets and more. A child could set up a yard sale or donation spot to help the animals in need if they're not old enough to volunteer.
Other ways children can fight off summertime boredom, is by helping fight hunger. The Atlanta Community Food Bank collects more than 60 million pounds of food and groceries a year and then distributes it to more than 600 non-profit partner agencies. They have many programs kids can participate in like Hunger 101, an education project of the Atlanta Community Food bank that is designed for all age groups to increase awareness about hunger and poverty.
Encourage your children to explore ways to help others. They can set up an Alex's Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer or help elderly or disabled neighbors by doing yard work. Habitat for Humanity allows 14 and 15 year olds to paint and 16 year olds can volunteer at build sites.
Participating in charity helps kids look beyond themselves and past their own needs. It also helps them deal with tragedies better because they see they can do something to help, not just sit idly by. When kids learn how "privileged" they are compared to others, it can develop an empathy and love for giving that will last well beyond summer.
And of course, Giv360 is a perfect way to help non-profits all year long. Sit down with your child and have them choose a charity they'd like to raise money for. Print up fliers and have them distribute the information to their friends and family, asking for their sign-up support. It's totally free, yet every time that person spends money at a Giv360 merchant, they'll be giving 5% of their bill to the charity. Make a sign-up sheet and set goals so your child can get 25-50 friends and family members to commit to signing up with Giv360 to support their favorite charity!
Children don't have to wait till they're older to make a difference.
Start now! Sign up here!