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What age should children start to volunteer?

We are not a member of a church so we cannot just help out there- but I would love for my kiddo to learn about helping others, etc. He is in Kindergarten. When is a good age to have him help out at a food pantry or something along those lines to learn to help other people and not think of himself so much???

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:15 PM on Nov. 15, 2012 in General Parenting

Answers (6)
  • My DD just turned 5, and this past weekend she decided she wanted to donate some of her old toys. We went thru her toy bins stuffing a garbage bag full and took it over to Goodwill. She even signed the donation form.

    You may want to call and ask local soup kitchens and such places if there is a minimum age for volunteers. Another route you can try is him starting a pet food drive at his school for the local animal shelter.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 1:37 PM on Nov. 15, 2012

  • He is too young for a food bank. You lift 20 to 40 pounds and it is a running pace. Today I volunteered as I do every Thursday and we assisted 82 families in 1 hour and 15 minutes. You need to hunk in terms of age appropriate like collecting toys or when he is around 10 at his birthday parties asking for canned goods or a bag of groceries for the local food bank. My daughter did this a couple of years and we collected so much food... Two pickup truckloads.

    Answer by booklover545 at 1:46 PM on Nov. 15, 2012

  • My GD is 9 and she does 2 hpurs every other Saturday at the public library. She began by helping prepare craft projects. Now she reads to preschoolers. She is in the National Honor Society and she is required to have a minimum number of community service hours each year.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 2:32 PM on Nov. 15, 2012

  • As soon as they can help you clean the house.

    Answer by louise2 at 2:53 PM on Nov. 15, 2012

  • They can start volunteering at any time. When we deliver food baskets the kids will carry the bread, a gallon of milk, etc to the door. When our church built a home for Habitat for Humanity everyone pitched in. It may have just been the little ones bringing drinks out, picking up scraps, etc but everyone worked together.

    What you have to do is find something that they can do. Do they like animals? They could help collect items for the animal shelter, keep trash picked up in the parks (with supervision) etc. It's never to young to teach them to help others and there are lots of ways they can help.

    Answer by baconbits at 2:58 PM on Nov. 15, 2012

  • I think it's great you want to start early in teaching your child to serve others. <3 Kids learn a lot by watching us, so if volunteering is a big part of your life, be sure to include him in age-appropriate activities as he grows older.

    For right now, I agree he's a bit little to help at a food pantry - these places are pretty high traffic and usually can't accommodate little helpers. How about having him go shopping with you and letting him choose a few items for a family who doesn't have enough to eat? With the holidays coming up, you could also have him pick out a toy to give to a toy drive.

    Keep it simple at first, but keep at it. In time, he'll see for himself how good it feels to give.



    Answer by grammieann at 7:00 PM on Nov. 15, 2012

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