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5 easy ways for kids to volunteer — at the holidays and all year long

Volunteering is good for kids: They feel connected to their communities, they feel important in doing valued work, and they pick up useful knowledge. Here are some ways to get kids going on helping others:


Pick up chairs. You’re at a concert or a play at your child’s school, and at the end the organizers appeal for volunteers to help move and store the chairs. Join in with your kids.


Give to the needy. It could be as simple as having your child drop something in the supermarket’s food bank barrel. Or it could be something like the YWCA’s Adopt-A-Family program, where you can buy and wrap Christmas gifts for needy families.


Grow things. Join a party reclaiming our green spaces for nature, weeding, mulching or planting native plants with Forterra  or the Nature Consortium, or pitch in cultivating urban community farms with Alleycat Acres.


Pick up trash. Kids can be thorough collectors of trash, though you do need to supervise, lest they come across a broken bottle or worse. The Puget Soundkeeper Alliance conducts regular beach cleanups, which are fun exercises in seeing the strange assortment of plastic trash that floats through our waters.


Bake sales. Even the youngest kids can help measure and mix the treats on sale. Kids can also be helpful setting things up and cleaning up afterward (more chair hauling!). Older ones can serve food.


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