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It doesn't matter how old you are, how much money or time you have to spare, what your race or background is or what gifts or talents you have to offer. We all have something that we can do to help give back to our community, and even to the world for that matter, but today we're talking about giving back on a bit of a smaller scale.
If you've thought about helping out or giving back why not start in the most logical place? Right in your own back yard! After all you do live there, most likely work there, your children attend schools there, play on teams and take extra classes and activities there. We all have a responsibility to ourselves, our neighbors, our community and most importantly our children to give back to our communities, build up our communities and try to make them the best places they can be. Think about it, why wouldn't you want your children to live in a better place? Why wouldn't you want to better the lives of your own family while also bettering not only your community but the lives of the other people who live in it? Helping out is so much more important now than it ever was before, because of all of the problems we're having now that weren't such huge problems for past generations.
Giving back doesn't have to take up all of your free time (what is that and who has it, anyway?) or your extra money. The only thing you need to give back is the want to give back, because as we've all heard before 'Where there's a will, there's a way!" I honestly believe that's true. Don't have a lot of extra cash? Then volunteer your time! Don't have a lot of extra time? Then volunteer your used clothing, some canned food, some extra money for project supplies.
There are countless ways in which you can give back to your community, and teach your children a valuable lesson and enrich your character and theirs while positively impacting the lives of others all at the same time.
You can donate items to local charity organizations, churches, homeless shelters, womens shelters and countless other places. Don't just donate clothing, donate toys, sample sized lotions, face washes, moisturizers, soaps, shampoos or conditioners that you get for free, or you could even donate full sized items that you've purchased on sale as well as shoes and accessories, food and many other items. The items you can donate and the places to donate them to are endless!
Become a big brother or big sister to a local child whose parents work or are in jail! If you have older children they can be a big brother or big sister too. It's true that getting your children involved in giving back at a young age makes them more likely to give back when they're older and teaches them valuable life lessons and to be grateful for the life they have and the things and people who are in it.
Which brings me to my next option, volunteer with your children. Join in a program that will allow you and your children to help clean up a park, clean up the local schools during summer, clean up the neighborhood, food drives, toy drives or anything that you take a liking to.
Have your children pick out a few toys during Christmas time from the store that they would like to donate to toy drives and take the opportunity to explain to them that not all Children get to have Santa come and Mommy & Daddy buy them things too. Let them pick out some of their own toys to donate to a Church toy drive or to your local clothing center and allow them to go through their closets and take out the clothing they don't wear or fit in anymore to donate there as well.
If you have a talent then donate that as well, if you own a business donate your goods or some money so that some children can go on a field trip they otherwise wouldn't have gotten to go on..
Volunteer your time by serving meals to the homeless, or helping to write resumes for them so that they will be prepared at job interviews.
Volunteer to tutor a child during the school year, or use your bilingual abilities to help a child in some way. The possibilities are endless!
If your children are old enough to shovel snow or rake leaves have them volunteer to do that for an elderly person on your block or in your neighborhood and help them with it!
I think that giving back should be a family affair, if we all show our children how to give back then they will show their children how to give back. This is something that I want to pass down to my kids, something that I want them to learn and to continue to do for years to come. If we all help someone then maybe one day when we need it someone will help us, and we can make the world, starting with our community a better place to live in! Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but I truly believe this.
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