A memorable, if oddly appropriate, quote from The House Bunny is one of my favorite do-good sentences of all time: “Kindness is just love with its work boots on.” There’s never been a better time to teach, learn, and explore exactly what those words mean, and, if you are raising a family, you can never start too early. That’s why we put together these simple kind ways for kids to give.
Luckily, teaching kindness shouldn’t be too far out of your way. After all, if you’re reading this, you’re interested in learning and doing more for others, and that’s kindness in its own right, because teaching compassion, generosity, empathy, and the courage to engage in positive change is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children.
The best thing about the suggestions we’ve provided below is that they are great activities you can do together and as a family, neighborhood, and community. All of which teaches another important lesson of its own: that we’re all in this together. You’ll also stay on top of toys, books, and games you no longer use in your house, which can benefit everyone.
Thanks to A Million Thanks, over five million hand-made cards and hand-written letters have made it into the hands of the American military. If you have a budding artist on your hands, put the paintings to good use in lifting the spirits of those separated from loved ones while protecting others. You can also donate to grant wishes for Veterans, send emails via Shutterfly, and more. (Here are some other ideas to say thanks with a handmade gift).
If your kids have outgrown their gently-used books, more adventures await those stories than the ones they have on their pages. Organizations like Better World Books have partnered with libraries in the United States, Canada, and the UK to increase worldwide literacy. Click here to learn more and find a drop-off location near you. Talk to your local library about what you can do to help their regional collections (or read our previous blog to see what other options are available).
If your game closet has seen better days—and more pieces—most donation centers won’t accept them (and for good reason). These games are far from lost, however; game boards, pieces, and boxes can find new life as picture frames, journals, handbags, and so much more as demonstrated by Big DIY Ideas in this handy post. Clear out your cluttered cabinets and think outside the box, and you just may find a real winner.
Arguably one of the coolest sites for kids who care, GenerationOn encourages kids to “make their mark on the world.” Filled with projects, games, and club ideas, this website gives advice for parents, tools for educators, and a community for kids who want to leave the world better than they found it. Projects range from helping the homeless to improving natural wildlife.
If you find your children’s rooms are stuffed with gently used stuffed animals, pare down the collection for kids in need. While it may be difficult for some children to part with a teddy bear or two, it helps when you can talk about why stuffed animals are important to all children, and that you would never force them to part with a fluffed friend until they were ready. Organizations like SAFE (Stuffed Animals For Emergencies), collect animals for organizations throughout the world to comfort kids in all sorts of situations.