When you’re looking for something to do with your kids over the summer, it’s worth thinking about the benefits of getting involved with a charity fundraising campaign. This is a great way to alert children to social concerns that go beyond the family, and encourage them to take an interest in the wider world. Most kids love the chance to feel that they’re being useful in the world, and it’s empowering for them to learn that when they identify things that are wrong in the world it may be possible for them to do something about them. What’s more, charity activities can be tremendous fun and a great way for the family to spend time together.
Choosing your charity
Often children have strong ideas about the cause they would like to get involved with, but they may not have heard of very many, so it’s good to help them explore a range of options. Don’t just talk about what the charity focuses on, but look at issues such as how it spends its money and how much of that money goes directly into making a difference. This can help to develop children’s decision-making skills and their critical awareness, and give them the confidence to ask questions. When you want to find out which charities are running events, and when, you’ll find their social media feeds very useful.
Fun things to do
Some fundraising campaigns involve a series of activities such as running jumble sales or handing out leaflets, and children can enjoy getting involved in this kind of ongoing activity, but it’s often easier to start with a one-off event when you’re undertaking this kind of activity as a family for the first time. There are all sorts of exciting things happening around the country that you can try, from fun runs to car washing events, dog shows and even space hopper racing! If you can find enough people who are interested in participating, some charities can even help you to set up your own event based around your children’s ideas.
Help for Heroes
Help for Heroes, the charity dedicated to improving the lives of injured servicemen, does a lot of work with families and knows what it takes to get kids engaged. It even has assault courses they can try – challenges that look daunting to adults but are endless fun for children. Getting involved with its activities helps children become more aware of what the armed services do for us, both at home and overseas, and it also alerts them to issues around disability, making them more sensitive to the needs of others. For kids who are disabled themselves it can be inspirational.
Keeping it going
If kids are really interested in a particular charity and want to learn more about it after being involved in an event, you’ll find that many have low-cost membership or supporter options available for children, with newsletters and information on day-to-day ways of helping out. Giving your kids an opportunity to stay involved like this can set them on course to lead active and useful lives where they continue to help others.