If you want to make the world a better place, the easiest place to start is in your own home. Encouraging your kids and other family members to help others is the best way to pay it forward. There are many ways to accomplish this. Some involve donating money, others simply take a little of your time. Let’s look at four ways to start practicing altruism in your own home.
Make Room in Your Budget for Charity
A sensible budget helps you keep your finances on track. Setting aside a little money each month for charitable donations lets you do your part to help those who are less fortunate. You can choose the causes you believe in. You might hold a family meeting each month to decide where to donate. This will help to raise everyone’s awareness about pressing issues. Even if you can only afford small donations, this practice will help instill a generous spirit in your family.
Donate Items You Don’t Need
Just because you no longer have a use for something doesn’t mean someone else can’t use it. Rather than throwing out old clothing, furniture, electronics and other items, donate them to a charity. Goodwill and Salvation Army will send a truck to your home if you have large items. For individual items, list them in the free section on Craigslist. If you want to take this idea to the next level, donate your car to a place such as Newgate School, where low-income students use those donations to learn auto body repair skills.
No matter where you live, there are opportunities to volunteer. Make it a family project. Perhaps you can take your kids along when you volunteer at a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Encourage older kids to participate in volunteering programs. Another possibility is to choose a volunteer vacation. This type of trip often turns out to be more interesting than visiting foreign countries as a tourist.
Support Local Youth Sports Teams
Youth sports teams provide kids in the community with a way to develop their skills, get exercise and learn teamwork. There are usually opportunities to sponsor local baseball, football, soccer or other types of teams. If you or someone in your family has experience in a certain sport, you might also offer to become a coach. You can also do what you can to support fundraising events for these teams.
These are some of the ways you and your family can give back to your community. This doesn’t only help the people in your area, it teaches your family valuable lessons. Like anything else, altruism and generosity are habits. The more you start thinking of ways you can help out, the more opportunities you’ll find.