Good Deeds: 20 Ways Your Kids Can Make The Community A Better Place For Everyone

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Tanni Haas, Ph.D.

The holiday season is a great occasion to teach your kids the value of caring for the community, in which they live, especially those community members who can’t care as well for themselves. Here are 20 practical suggestions on what they can do:

Visit sick kids at the hospital. This is a wonderful gesture during the holidays or school breaks where everyone else is having fun.

Donate clothing and food to a homeless shelter. That will teach your kids the value of giving to those much less fortunate than themselves.

Help senior citizens learn to use technology, like how to search the internet, send emails, and navigate their smartphones, so they can better communicate with family and friends.

Offer to paint a less well-maintained house in the neighborhood. There’s always that one house that could use some sprucing up.

Help coach a sports team with younger kids. This can be any sport they are good at or just like playing.

Assist senior citizens by helping them with their groceries or running errands around town.

Ask the library if they need tutors for younger kids in reading, writing, and basic math.

Volunteer for a clean-up day at a park. It’s needed in many places and a lot of fun to do, too.

Help out at charity shops. These shops rely on volunteers and can always use another helping hand.

Visit the residents at a nursing home or assisted living facility. Many residents get less visits from family and friends than most people realize.

Organize a back-to-school supplies drive for kids whose families have fallen on hard times.

Contact a school to see if they need a homework tutor for its after-school program. Sometimes, kids can explain things to other kids in a way that’s more relatable and makes more sense than adults.

Help care for the animals at the animal shelter. There’s nothing like giving a little love to an abandoned dog or cat.

Organize a community get-together at the community center. This could be a movie screening, a dance, or a group activity that encourages collaboration and bonding.

Donate books such as textbooks and test prep manuals to local schools.

Walk the dogs for neighbors who are injured, sick or otherwise unable to exercise their pets with daily outdoor walks.

Help out at a community garden planting flowers, vegetables, weeding, watering or just helping with upkeep and maintenance.

Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Many people do this at Thanksgiving or during the holidays, but the need is there all year round.

Read books or newspapers to the visually impaired.

Help senior citizens with seasonal tasks like raking leaves in the fall, shoveling snow in the winter, or mowing the grass in the summer.


Tanni Haas, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Communication Arts, Sciences, and Disorders at the City University of New York – Brooklyn College.