Get Back to Giving Back

When kids hear the words "community service," it's usually met with a groan or confusion over how, exactly, to serve the community. If you've read our q&a with Nancy Lublin, you'll learn it's a lot simpler to give back when you're inspired by something you love. It's also important to start giving back early, as a family. Whether it's once a week or once a month, get everyone in your house involved. Clean up a neighborhood park, bake some goodies to take to a local nursing home, or take some dog treats and tennis balls over to the local dog shelter to play with the pups. Start small …

Older children might need larger projects or something ongoing for school or college. Have them think big. Do they like fashion? They might want to organize a (gently worn) denim drive at their school and drop off the donations at a local shelter. Are they into sports? Perhaps they can put together a field day of activities for a local kid's after school program or Police Athletic League program. A budding artist? Why not talk to a local gallery about putting on a show of kid's artwork for a night? There are an infinite number of possibilities, it's just a matter of how big a kid can dream.

No matter how young or old your kids are, once they get started (and put their minds to something) they are unstoppable. They might require some technical assistance from you or some car pooling, but the most important things you can give your budding activist are your enthusiasm and encouragement. Now get off your butts and Do Something

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