Kids really can make a difference in the world! Does that seem hard to believe?
It’s true. Every year, thousands of kids donate their hair to companies that make wigs for kids who have lost their hair due to cancer or illness. And every year hundreds of kids right here in Des Moines help collect and sort food for the hungry. Those are just two ways you can make a difference.
But why would you want to get involved? It’s easy to just do what you have to or want to do every day. But when you volunteer on a project you are playing a bigger part in the world around you. By stepping outside your usual daily activities you make a difference in the lives of other people.
Volunteering is also a great way to realize just how much power and potential you have. When you take your time and your skills to make a difference you are helping to define yourself. You may discover that you want to be a more compassionate person. And you may be surprised to find out what you can accomplish!
Doing good for others is also a great way to connect with people who share the same interests or concerns that you do. Many families work together to be helpful to people they don’t even know. Friends can do a lot of good when they work together. You could even lead the effort.
When you contribute to the world you make it a better place. You can do this in a way that is uniquely you. Volunteer for projects that matter to you.
In the purple box we have shared a few ideas. We’re sure you can think of lots of other ways to make the world a better place! You will be helping other people, and helping yourself at the same time.
If you are concerned about animals:
- Raise money to give to an animal shelter. Animal shelters take care of animals and find homes for them if they need to be adopted.
- Ask your parents if your family can adopt or foster a pet in your home.
If you are concerned about feeding the hungry:
- Gather donations for your local food pantry.
- Volunteer to serve a meal at a homeless shelter.
If you are concerned about people with cancer or other diseases:
- Have a bake sale or a lemonade stand. Donate the money you receive to a charity that supports people who are ill.
- Get your family or friends to participate in a fundraising walk or race for Pinky Swear, the Alzheimer’s Association, or another charity.
If you want to make your neighborhood a better place:
- Help older neighbors pull weeds, rake leaves, or take out garbage.
- Organize a group of friends to clean up a neighborhood park.
- Volunteer at the neighborhood library. You might be able to read to younger kids or unpack books.