The Kids Are Home…Now What?

Lori Gore GreenWith summer quickly approaching, parents everywhere are asking the question, “Now, what?”. Although many parents have already signed up their children for camp,  athletic programs or continuing education courses, some parents are still scrambling to find a summer plan that fits the needs of their children and of themselves. .

While some parents hustle to make enrollment deadlines and avoid late fees, others will use this as an opportunity to participate in the always-open world of volunteerism.

During these summer months , it’s critical for children to get the time that they need to rest, play and just relax after the stresses of the academic year. However, there are certain skills that that can always stand to be sharpened. Empathy, responsibility, teamwork, patience and more are all qualities developed by any volunteer worth her weight.

As a parent, help your child research volunteer opportunities. This could range from a monthly trip to a soup kitchen, to a daily commitment to a local nursing home . Depending on the age of your child, you may want to make it a family affair.

Personally, I think it’s always great to introduce volunteerism to children through local opportunities.That way the child feels an immediate connection to the cause.

In addition to using a local volunteer opportunity for your child to feel directly engaged with the cause, logistically this may prove to be advantageous.  If it’s easy to get to the designated location, you are less likely to be tardy or give up.

This is not to say that if an opportunity presents itself in a neighborhood that isn’t in your backyard,that you should decline.

As for resources, I would su of course suggest going online and looking for the local chapter of any charitable cause that you and your children believe in.


Another great resource for finding volunteer opportunities is your local library or rec community center.
Both places often feature resources about local events, news, culture and local volunteer opportunities. Librarians themselves are great resources for this kind of information, and if they don’t know themselves, they will do the research. Additionally, there are numerous resources online, it’s just a matter of looking!

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