Economic hardships and natural disasters have a way of bringing out the best in people. Instead of being stingy and holding on to their money, many people dig deep and try to help others. This could by giving money or by volunteering time. Teaching teens about charity work can be an experience your teen may continue with into adulthood.
There are many reasons why a teenager might consider giving their time for charity work and helping others. Teens often learn that being charitable has rewards of its own. They’ll see that sharing their time can help them feel good about themselves.
What types of activities could a teenager volunteer for that would make a difference in someone else’s life? Actually, there are many ways teens can volunteer, some right in their own neighborhood or city.
The holidays are a great time to teach your teen about charity work. Quite often rescue missions offer free meals during Thanksgiving or Christmas. This may be the only hot meal some people eat if they are homeless. Teens can volunteer to help cook or serve the meal. They may also help clean up afterwards.
Explain to your teen that charitable opportunities are all around them. There are television commercials from charities that help children in other parts of the world. There are children’s hospitals that would probably be thrilled to have someone come to read stories to sick children. Nursing and convalescent homes would also appreciate having someone to come to read to their patients, especially if their family isn’t nearby.
As a parent, your most effective way of teaching your teen is by example. If they see you giving your money, your time, and your unused items, they may be more willing to participate as well.
Take an afternoon as a family and gather up good, used clothes that you don’t wear any longer. Ask your teen to take them to the homeless shelter, Salvation Army, or Goodwill store. You can also donate books, toys, and any other item that can still be used.
Go through your kitchen pantry to see if there are food items that can be shared with those less fortunate. Perhaps a family in your town have recently had a fire and lost everything they owned. Find out where they are staying, what they need, and see if there is anything your family can share.
It’s not difficult teaching teens about charity work, especially if you’ve always been charitable as a family. Your teen will see that there are those less fortunate than themselves. They will also learn that giving can give back by helping them feel good about themselves when they reach out to those in need.