Teach Kids to Give Back to the Community

Last Updated on July 19, 2019 by Diane Hoffmaster

This post about teaching kids to give back is sponsored by Barbara’s.  All opinions are my own.


Want to know how to teach kids to give back to the community? Help them get involved in a new service projects and then volunteer WITH them!  Children learn by example and giving back to those in need is a lesson that needs to be passed from parent to child. Already have a child passionate about helping those in need?  You can nominated them for recognition in the Barbara’s Believe in Better contestKeep reading to learn more about service projects for kids, as well as details about this contest from Barbara’s, the maker of wholesome snacks and cereals! 

Community Service Project Ideas for the Whole Family


Barbara’s Believe in Better Contest

The Barbara’s Believe in Better Contest is a nationwide search to recognize American youth  who are “doing better”.  Is your child (or one you know) participating in a do-good, non-profit, charity, school or community project?  Nominated them for this award! This isn’t JUST for eco friendly projects, either.  Any project that your child leads to benefit the community qualifies for the contest!

Parents, teachers, family members or friends ages 18 and older are encouraged to nominate exemplary kids younger than 18-years-old and their do-good project via the Believe in Better tab on Barbara’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BarbarasBakery. Submissions are open now through July 10, 2019.  After that, five finalists will be selected for a period of public voting. Prizes will be awarded to each winner’s do-good project based on the number of votes received. These prizes include:

  • Grand Prize: $10,000
  • First Runner-Up Prize: $1,500
  •  Second Runner-Up Prize: $1,000
  • Two (2) Honorable Mention Prizes: $500

For more information about Barbara’s Believe in Better and to view official rules and regulations, please click here.

To learn more Barbara’s wholesome cereals and snacks, please visit the Barbara’s website at www.Barbaras.com.   Keep reading if you need inspiration for your child’s upcoming sustainable service projects! 

volunteer graphic

Teach Kids to Give Back

Giving back is a hard message to teach children. The commercialism in our society can be rather overwhelming at times. But giving to others is an incredibly important lesson that kids need to learn.  Take a few moments to teach your children to give back to the community.  Volunteering has been shown to improve communities AND your own mental health

Easy Ways Kids Can Give Back  Without a Designated Charity

  1. Pick up rubbish wherever you go. Throw it away when you get home.  
  2. Donate unwanted toys.  Whether you donate to Goodwill or your local church, it is totally up to you. 
  3. Help with yard work for elderly or sick neighbors.  Kids only have to go as far as the next yard over to lend a helping hand. 
  4. Volunteer at community events.  Whether it is a pet adoption day or a church cleanup day, all communities need help occasionally. 
  5. Help bake cookies to give to local service people and volunteers.  You can even just give them to the mail carrier!
  6. Plant a tree.  The environment needs all the help it can get!
  7. Start a Little Free Library in your community. 

Teach Kids to Give Back to the Community this Christmas

Let your child shop with you for the food bank.

Take them to the grocery store and ask them what they think the food bank might need.  Have them put the items in the cart, carry them to the car and come in with you to drop them at the food shelter. I have done this with my kids for Thanksgiving and I know the food bank was very grateful for the help!

More Service Projects for Kids

Having Fun at the Yellow River Trash Bash River Cleanup Day

Volunteer with your child for a good cause

Whether it is your daughter’s Girl Scout troop collecting cans for the food bank or the youth group going to the nursing home to sing carols, let your child see YOU getting involved.  Give back to the community as a family and talk about your activity with your child.

How do you teach kids about giving? Model giving behavior. And not just your time, talents, and money but compassion, too.  Encourage kids to pass along compliments to others. Send an extra snack with them to school. At lunchtime, they can give it away to a random friend or stranger Encourage compassion in your children and giving behavior will often follow naturally.

Teach Kids to Give Back to the Community this Christmas

Teach Kids to Shop for Someone Else

Many schools and places of worship have ‘giving trees’ where underprivileged children are given a gift request ornament. Let your child choose a needy child to shop for and then let them help you shop, wrap, and deliver that toy.

Adopt a nursing home

Whether you have an elderly loved one in a nursing home or not, adopting a nursing home is a great way to give back.  Bake cookies for the nurses and make cards for the residents.  Go Christmas caroling down the halls.  Help decorate the patients’ rooms. These are all great ways to give back and it’s definitely a cause that is greatly appreciated.

Teach Kids to Give Back to the Community this Christmas

Give Back Financially If You Can

It seems like every store I go into has a charitable giving campaign going on.  So far, I have donated stuffed dogs to children through the pet store and books to needy children at the book store.  I have said yes to ’rounding up’ at the grocery store and tossed plenty of handfuls of change into little red kettle drums. 

I have also had to say NO to a lot of requests, too.  Because while I want to teach kids to give back, I am also not made of money.  However, let your kids hear you say YES whenever possible.  And maybe give THEM the change to toss into the red kettle drum!

Teach Kids to Give Back to the Community this Christmas

More Community Volunteering Opportunities 

Every community will have their own individual needs when it comes to volunteer opportunities.  Teach kids to give back by actively searching them out and volunteering TOGETHER.  Here are a few more ways your child can give back to others:

  • Work at a food bank or soup kitchen.
  • Tutor younger students.
  • Participate in community cleanups.
  • Work at an animal shelter.
  • Help out at the library.
  • Walk or run for a fundraiser.

If you want to raise children who are compassionate, kind, and socially aware, you need to teach kids to give back. Community service is an important life lesson and they learn best when they have good role models to follow! 

Whether you choose to give financially or donate your time to a cause, try to involve your kids.  Check out MissionFinder.org for great volunteer projects in your area.

How are YOU teaching your kids about giving back?




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  1. I used to sign up to ring the Salvation Army bell as a service project. It's so COLD out there sometimes!! My kids love to drop in some change so it's now our tradition to always put a little bit in, no matter how many times we've already given.

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