School is out for the summer, and that means many parents are looking for productive ways to keep their kids engaged and active. Have you ever thought about service? You’re never too young to help a neighbor in need. From toddlers to teens, there are many ways young people can get involved and wonderful benefits in doing so.
For teens in particular, studies have shown the tremendous benefits of community involvement: increased self-esteem and confidence, more hope and gratitude, and even a reduction in risky behavior. Summer is a perfect time to get involved. Here are some ideas:
- Personalize bags for The Children’s Haven.
https://bit.ly/3s8lAWVThis project is fun for kids and adults. Simply purchase the bags listed at this link, and decorate just one side with cheerful art or a message. It’s a wonderful way to bring dignity and joy to the clients served by The Children’s Haven.
- Make no-sew blankets for MUST Ministries.
https://bit.ly/3KIQ20wEven the youngest kids will have fun tying knots on no-sew blankets, which are easy, fun and really make a difference for clients supported by MUST.
- Create place mats and cards for seniors.
https://bit.ly/39ydbWvKids can color pages from their favorite coloring book and glue them onto construction paper, or draw pictures on folded paper to make a card.
- Help the Smithsonian.
https://bit.ly/39pVUytTeens, especially, might enjoy this opportunity! Be a part of real research at the Smithsonian by helping with data and catalogs online.
The best part about these opportunities is that you can do them as a family, but don’t hesitate to invite your neighbors to help, too.
Be sure to check out these projects and more at justserve.org, or join the JustServe North Georgia public Facebook for weekly ideas all summer long. You can have a wonderful summer by serving!
Justserve.org is a free, nationwide website and app that works to match volunteers with nonprofit organizations and service opportunities. If you run a nonprofit or are looking for ways to make service a regular part of your life, check out justserve.org. You can sign up for regular updates and learn more about organizations nearby, too. JustServe makes it easy to just go out and serve!
– Susannah MacKay is a local JustServe specialist. She grew up in Marietta and loves helping strengthen her community through service! Follow her on Facebook @JustServeGeorgia.