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True Leaders in Service: Teaching Kids to Be Grateful

by National 4-H Council

For many kids, it is eye-opening for them to realize that not everyone is exactly like them or as fortunate to have the same things they do, and it’s important to teach kids the importance of helping those in need. That’s why a goal for many parents is to teach their kids gratitude. Doing so not only helps them appreciate what they have, but it also broadens their perspectives and makes them more caring.

To celebrate National Volunteer Month and provide ideas for your True Leaders in Service project, here are ways you can encourage your kid to be grateful and to give back to their community.

Volunteer as a Family

There are many ways families can volunteer together. Some opportunities include serving lunch at a local soup kitchen, taking part in community clean-up projects, or dog-walking at a local animal shelter. Volunteering helps kids recognize the things they have, which in turn will teach them to be grateful and appreciative of those things, along with their ability to help others.

Collect Change for Charity

Encourage your family members to start putting extra change in a jar every night when they come home. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it adds up. At the end of the month, or on a particular date, research and select a charity you’d like to donate the money that was collected. This is a great way for kids to learn about different charities and non-profit groups.

Get Moving for a 5K Run/Walk

A 5K Run/Walk is a great way to not only spend time together as a family for a cause, but you are also able to reap the health benefits. Also, paying the race fee and learning about the cause and organization behind the 5K provides a ready-made way to give back.

Visit HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® for more ideas to inspire your kids and family to give back to the community. Once you’ve picked your family’s service project, be sure to register at 4‑H.org/TrueLeadersinService as part of this month’s True Leaders in Service initiative.