From a very young age, children can learn and grow through doing service. And so can their parents and caregivers.
When children notice something unfair, that is a perfect time to look together for an opportunity to help. A fundraising project your child can help plan and implement may be the simplest way to serve together. Direct service opportunities for children are more challenging to arrange, but very rewarding and not impossible; find some resources below.
A powerfully transformative service opportunity is one that allows you and your child to get to know people who are struggling to survive in conditions that call for respect.
Find a Faith in Action project to do at home. The UUA's Tapestry of Faith curricula emphasize Faith in Action for all ages, with a service or justice project suggested in every session. Many are easily adaptable for home. On the Tapestry of Faith "Search" page, enter "Faith in Action" in the "Title Keyword" search field. Select the age group "Children."
Read the UUA Toolkit book, Creating Justice Together. It offers dozens of transformative ways a family can help locally and globally. The book suggests a three-phase process: inquiry and planning beforehand, doing the project, and reflection afterward. "If you embrace a responsibility and seek opportunities to help guide the development of a young person's faith, spirit, and character, you will find this book both relevant and useful."
Explore meaningful family volunteer work. These organizations' websites suggest opportunities with useful roles for people of all ages:
- Books for Africa
- Family Travel Network
- Great Backyard Bird Count
- Kid World Citizen (generic ideas for service projects)
- Points of Light
- Volunteer Match (filter your search for zip code, kid-friendly, area of interest, and more)
Check out the 2014, 2016, and 2017 30 Days of Love Activity Calendars for Families! The UUA Side with Love campaign produces an annual activity calendar with concrete, timely, daily suggestions for age-appropriate learning, helping, and/or advocacy family members can do together.