National Day of Service: More Ideas for the Youngest Ones

This terrific list from Youth Service America.   From the most simple to the more involved, this list has helped me think about ways that our family–as a family–can get involved on our street, in our neighborhood, in our community. 

Personally,  I think that for very young kids, even very small things can help connect them to their community and their world, and when they do things themselves they stick. 

For example: After sending her lemonade money and a letter about sea turtles to the Nature Conservancy, and receiving back a very personal note and lots of educational information, Ella to this day remains conscious about using and recycling all plastic, and understands better that how we live matters to one very specific part of the environment.

For example:  At Christmas, Ella decided it would be a good idea to bake cookies for our neighbors, especially for those who lived alone.  Which project she happily did, on her own, and delivered.  Her spritz cookies may not have been the fanciest cookies of the season, but they were darned cute and the gesture was incredibly sweet & greatly appreciated by everyone on the receiving end. (We know these neighbors, but not that well.)  I’m still working up to the dinner invitations she wants me to extend to our single, older neighbors, but she’s the one with the right ideas.

Neither of things are earthshattering, but they are absolutely character forming. Small steps to the larger goal of raising a child who cares about more than herself.

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