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HELP YOUR CHILD HELP YOUR COMMUNITY

As a parent, you probably want to guide your child to become a healthy and ethical adult. How can you lead your child to a healthy future? What kind of activities can you do together as a family that will steer your child towards becoming a compassionate adult? Community service and Volunteerism are your answer. Not only will you show your child that it is 'cool' to care for others, but it will also be a wonderful way to meet new people and possibly land scholarship money for college.

How do I get my child involved? Below are some ways to get your children motivated to want to help. Avoid bribing and coercion, the mission is to get your child enthusiastic about helping others.

1.What do my parents do? 'Children learn by example. If your child sees you volunteer, they will be more likely to want to volunteer as well. It is also a great idea to involve your child in your own volunteering experience.
2.Find a meaningful activity 'Each child has interests that can be converted in a great volunteering experience. If your child is interested in art, match them up with an art charity (http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org). If your child is interested in homelessness, match your child up with a homeless shelter. Once your child is matched with the right project, your child will encounter a rewarding experience that he or she will always remember.
3.Involve friends and family 'It might be easier to involve your child if a friend is also involved. Some children might be shy and will want a peer to help soften the experience. Also, with a friend, the project becomes more special and enjoyable.
4.Meaningful conversation first 'It might be a good idea to watch the news together and see what sparks your child interest. Sometimes seeing less fortunate people and suffrage can spark a child into wanting to volunteer. Also, bring up social issues and discuss them with your child.

What are some web sites to find volunteering opportunities?

Kids for Community 'http://www.kidsforcommunity.org/
Family Volunteering 'http://www.1-800-volunteer.org/learn/family.jsp
Volunteer Match 'http://www.volunteermatch.org
SERVEnet 'http://www.servenet.org/
Service Leader 'http://www.serviceleader.org/new/virtual/index.php
Do It 'http://www.do-it.org.uk/youthnet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=445
Worldwide Volunteering 'http://www.worldwidevolunteering.org.uk/
Online Volunteering 'http://www.onlinevolunteering.org/

Can volunteering really be good for my child?

You bet it can! It has been proven by researchers that a child's self-esteem is boosted when taking on altruistic responsibilities. When children help others, they will begin to understand that they have the strength to make a real difference in their world - and this is a great feeling. Another enormous benefit of volunteering is that a child will gain a deeper understanding of the needs and wants of others. Researchers have also noticed that children who volunteer might gain increased academic skills, including critical thinking and problem solving skills. Another added benefit is that your child might realize what he or she wants to pursue as a career.
I run Artists Helping Children 'http://www.ArtistsHelpingChildren.org 'A non-profit charity dedicated to bringing comfort to children in hospitals, clinics, and shelters by brightening their environment with murals, artwork, toys, and art supplies. If you are interested in getting involved and volunteering for us, please email us at allfreelance@comcast.net and let us know how you would like to help. Thanks!
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and get involved. Good luck!!

About the Author
Rachel Goldstein is founder of http://www.ArtistsHelpingChildren.org 'A non-profit charity dedicated to bringing comfort to children in hospitals, clinics, and shelters by brightening their environment with murals, artwork, toys, and art supplies.


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