Coming up with appropriate charities for your child can be challenging. Need inspiration? GenerationOn (generationon.org) lists myriad project ideas, from collecting mittens for the homeless to making valentines for hospital patients. You can also search for projects related to her interest, or check out the ideas below.
If your child wants to help:
- Animals Visit Defenders of Wildlife (defenders.org), which lets her adopt an endangered animal. She'll even get a stuffed version to play with.
- Sick Children Download a free kit from Alex's Lemonade Stand (alexslemonade.org), which has everything your child needs to set up a stand of his own. The proceeds go to the organization, which funds research for kids with cancer.
- The Earth Go to epa.gov/kids, where you can join the Environmental Protection Agency's Kids Club. Your child will get a membership certificate along with tips for reducing your carbon footprint and preserving precious resources.
- Kids From Other Countries Find a pen pal from a developing nation through projectknapsack.org, which will arrange to have your family send a backpack filled with school supplies to a student.
- Seniors Adopt a grandparent together. Call up a nearby assisted-living facility, and ask if any of its residents need someone to visit them. Seeing a child can brighten an elderly person's day.
- Needy Families Attend a kidsagainsthunger.org food-packaging session. In about two hours, you
and your child can easily fill up two large boxes, which comes out to 432 meals.
- His Whole Community Have your child start a Kids Care Club at his school or day-care center or your church. Each month the group takes on a new service project. Go to kidscare.org for more information.
Originally published in the June 2011 issue of Parents magazine.