Engaging Kids In Social Good

It’s never too early to try to teach children about social good.

When impressionable young minds learn about the most pressing issues of our times, it helps spark their passion for social justice, innate empathy and interest in making the world a better place.  We believe in the power of raising solid citizens through prioritizing family service projects while doing our best to model giving.  And children bring energy, innovation, and thoughtful perspectives in ways that only little people can.

We’re not experts in the parenting arena – but it’s our belief that these seemingly small acts of charity will help to shape a moral imperative for living a life of contributing to social good.

food bank donations with kids

Amidst National Service Month, it’s an honor to partner with Child Hunger Ends Here to help fight child hunger.  Here is the U.S., one in five kids are at risk, affecting every single county in America.  With 16 million kids in need, ConAgra and the ConAgra Food Foundation are harnessing the power of youth to tackle this issue – and we’re inspired by all of the simple ways to help change the trajectory for food insecure children and families.

fight hunger together food bank donationsservice projects with kidsservice projects for kids

Armed with a $50 sponsored gift card and our family’s matching $50 contribution we made two trips to the market to shop for food pantries and shelters.

donating food with kidsfood bank donating with kids

We drove the kids to take the bags of non-perishable food to Rockaway, NY – an area devastated by the effects of Hurricane Sandy, and home to the second largest concentration of public housing projects in New York. This is where my husband and I discovered the beauty in volunteer dates and where the kids first participated in service projects including family giving during the holidays. This month’s family service projects may have felt small, but we prioritize them and know that they all add up to something good.

Find a few of our tips for getting kids involved in fighting child hunger below:

  • Invest children in all aspects of the project: Create kid-appropriate dialog surrounding economic hardship and food insecurity – and help kids to participate in the project as much as possible.
  • Keep the emphasis on the recipients:  For our recent food donations project, I explained to the kids that we were only purchasing food to donate.  Despite needing coffee and paper towels, and despite my preschooler loosing it over a box of character-emblazed crackers – we stuck to the plan. It may be a challenge, but it helps little ones to imagine themselves in the shoes of others.
  • Point out avenues to help in your community:  From designated boxes in our church to organized activities in our community – there are ways to help contribute all around us. Point out these avenues and participate in helping, to show children that giving is a social norm and a way of life. 
  • Repeat and celebrate stories of family service projects: Children find security in family togetherness.  Talk about and celebrate family giving and have others speak to your kids about their service experiences. I often ask my mom, the kids Abuela (grandmother), to talk about the ways in which we helped hungry children while growing up. This helps to solidify family values and a long-term commitment to serving public good.

We’re so inspired by the young agents of change who have won $500 grants from the ConAgra Food Foundation as part of generationOn’s Make Your Mark on Hunger campaign. And it’s our hope that our little-ones follow in the footsteps of our local winner, Roseline Ulysess from Brooklyn NY.

Discover more about ConAgra Foods’ approach to fight child hunger and please share your family’s tips and strategies with the hashtag #FightHungerTogether.

getting kids involved in service

We partnered with The Motherhood and ConAgra Foods to share a sponsored story about Fighting Child Hunger.  The message is important to us – thank you for reading!

 

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Comments

  1. I think it’s so important to teach kids about being a responsible global citizen from a young age. Just a few weeks ago, I had my son gather up all the toys he no longer plays with so that we could ‘give them to kids who don’t have any toys’ and he was so involved! Proud mama moment 😉

  2. EJ (Jane) says

    we were hit extremely hard with Hurricane Irene, luckily we had renters insurance & my husband & older sons were able to get things back to normal within a few weeks. Con Ed had service back within 5 days.
    Then Hurricane Sandy hit, amazingly we never lost power, but mold forced us to move.

    My older kids & I gathered everything we had blankets clothing food ect. As we were about to head to the drop off location our little girl, age 3 came out of the bedroom with an armful of stuffed animals to give to the children she saw on the news, She said ” They need something to Love!”

    Recently I read a blog post to her & shared the pictures with her regarding child hunger. She proceeded to fill her toy shopping cart with all her favorite foods and informed me she was ready to deliver the goods.

    With a few clicks on the computer we found a food pantry a few blocks away in our new town. She then insisted on transferring the goods into her wheel barrel and off we went to deliver.

    She introduced herself to the ladies at the Parish Outreach, told them all about what she learned on social media & gave her donation.

    Yesterday a beautiful note arrived in the mail addressed to her, not only to thank her but to welcome her to the community.

    This has inspired her to do more, so a new adventure of Paying It Forward has begun.

    Thank you for sharing your story, I will be sharing with my family at dinner tonight.

    • What a beautiful heart your daughter has! Especially while going through so much after the storm. She sounds amazing – you should be proud of the ways in which you’ve raised her. xx

  3. This is so beautiful! you are an amazing mother to take the time and teach your kids about this, it is something they will never forget

  4. I agree with you that this generation needs to grow up with giving as a part of their lives. And I’m here to tell you that it does pay off. My son is far away at college this year and joined a frat known for being very involved in community service. Last weekend my son volunteered at a 12 hour cancer fundraiser and went right from there to participate in a second community service. Right now he’s at a local animal shelter volunteering. I’m so proud of him and of the way you’re raising your children. It does matter.

  5. It is definitely important to instill in your children social values that not only help them in growing to be socially aware adults but will help the less fortunate NOW. I am glad these large corporations are helping others–but why do they try to get others to buy their products before they will donate—-I would much rather give directly to Feed America or donate canned goods etc to a local food pantry.

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