In the whirlwind of modern life, instilling a sense of compassion, responsibility, and teamwork in our children has never been more crucial. As parents, we strive to nurture not only their academic capability but also their character. One powerful tool in this endeavour is introducing our kids to the world of volunteering. 

Why Should My Kid Volunteer?

Fosters Empathy and Compassion

Volunteering is a gateway to empathy. When children step outside their familiar routines and encounter diverse perspectives, they begin to understand the challenges faced by others. Whether helping the elderly or assisting those in need, these experiences cultivate a sense of compassion that extends far beyond their immediate surroundings.

Teaches Responsibility

Taking on responsibilities in a volunteer setting provides children with a sense of purpose and accountability. Simple tasks, such as helping out at a community event or serving the less fortunate, instill in them a feeling of pride and accomplishment, contributing to their overall personal development.

Promotes Teamwork and Social Skills

Volunteer activities often involve collaboration. Children learn the art of teamwork, understanding that their efforts, no matter how small, contribute to a greater collective goal. These experiences also nurture essential social skills, teaching kids to communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, and appreciate the strengths of others.

Builds Self-Esteem

Volunteering empowers children to recognise the impact they can have on the world around them. Whether they’re participating in a neighborhood clean-up or assisting at a local charity, these actions instill a sense of agency and self-worth, boosting their confidence and self-esteem.

How Do I Motivate My Kid to Volunteer?

Lead by Example

Children often mirror the behaviour of their parents. By actively engaging in volunteer work ourselves, we set a powerful example. Sharing our own experiences and expressing the joy derived from helping others can inspire and motivate our kids to follow suit.

Connect to Their Interests

Every child has unique interests and passions. Tailoring volunteer opportunities to align with these interests ensures that the experience is both meaningful and enjoyable for them. Whether it’s caring for animals, protecting the environment, or supporting other children, finding the right fit is key to sustained engagement.

Make it a Family Activity

Volunteering becomes a bonding experience when the whole family is involved. By framing it as a shared adventure, parents can create lasting memories while instilling a sense of collective responsibility in their children. Family volunteering not only strengthens ties but also reinforces the idea that positive change is a collaborative effort.

What Are Some Suitable Volunteer Activities?

The Food Bank Singapore has a Juniors Club, where children can learn about food insecurity in Singapore through experiential learning opportunities. It seeks to build awareness in young ones, enabling them to make impactful, positive change in the future. Children can help with sorting food in the warehouse, packing food bundles and distributing them to the needy. 

Another organisation where children can learn vital skills and volunteer with is The Red Cross Singapore’s programme for kids — Red Cross Juniors, which teaches children how to care for the elderly and the differently abled, as well as age-appropriate first aid skills. They can participate in Flag Day and other suitable volunteering activities. 

If your child has a soft spot for animals, The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is launching a Youth Ambassador Programme for children aged 7 to 16, where they can be trained to be involved in advocacy work. It aims to recruit 1,000 young volunteers and offers activities like school holiday camps, where children can experience what it is like to work with animals. They can even read to the animals!

In the tapestry of childhood, the threads of empathy, responsibility, teamwork, and self-esteem are woven through experiences that extend beyond the classroom. Volunteering is a gateway to these essential life skills, providing children with opportunities to engage with the world around them in meaningful ways. 

Each of New Life Student Care’s three centres offers a Samaritan Souls programme, where children learn to meaningfully engage with the community. They get to develop compassion, empathy and responsibility in the process. Schedule a centre visit today and see how we can come alongside you in raising children with curious minds, agile bodies and generous hearts.