During the 2023 March holidays, we held our annual Charity Car Wash in partnership with Active SG Jurong West. All proceeds went towards Sport SG’s SportCares foundation, which seeks to enable the less privileged and disabled to experience the benefits of sports.
I employed the help of our graduating Secondary 4 cohort, who all surprised me with their hard work and dedication. I liked how each child stepped out of their comfort zone to work together with one another. Many of the kids later expressed that volunteering was a meaningful way of spending their March school holidays and that they managed to relieve some of their academic stress.
That was when I realised – in the face of working towards a positive and meaningful mission greater than themselves, children can grow out of their shells and reach their fullest potential.
Here are five reasons why you should encourage your kids to volunteer:
Volunteering can Develop your Child’s Social skills
When volunteering, children will have to work with many other people who are united through their goal of helping others. This is a life skill, as your kid will learn how to effectively interact, collaborate, and engage people from diverse backgrounds.
For instance, during the car wash, I encouraged the kids to approach passing drivers to convince them to participate in the car wash. I was proud to see that even the quietest and most introverted kids stepped up to pitch to these drivers, and many of them agreed to join our car wash!
During these interactions, they will work on their social skills, such as cooperation, communication and leadership skills, which are difficult to learn within the four walls of a classroom.
Volunteering Cultivates Empathy and Compassion
Volunteering provides children with a valuable opportunity to broaden their horizons and gain a new perspective on life. It can expose them to people and situations they may not encounter otherwise. This helps them develop empathy and compassion as they begin to see the challenges and struggles that others may be going through.
As a parent myself, I am always looking for ways to nurture my children and teach them values beyond their academic curriculum. It is important for children to understand that even though they are young, they have the power to make a difference in society, such as by giving their time and service to a greater cause.
Volunteering can build Stronger Family Bonds
Volunteering provides a fun activity for your family to get out of the house and into a new environment, creating a refreshing change of pace for your children. Furthermore, as volunteering requires tons of teamwork and collaboration, this is a fantastic way for families to develop a stronger bond. By working side-by-side with their children, parents can also demonstrate their values and instil a sense of social responsibility in their kids.
Volunteering is Fun
During the car wash, apart from the life lessons gained, many of the kids expressed how working with their peers was a fun and enjoyable way of spending their March holidays and destressing amidst their busy school schedules.
Participating in positive and meaningful volunteering experiences can be an enriching way for children to alleviate stress. Research has shown that volunteering can boost self-esteem and improve gratitude and pride, essential components of overall well-being. When children feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from helping others, it can help them cope with stress and develop a more positive outlook on life.
Volunteering can bring Practical benefits
Participating in volunteer activities is a powerful way for children to demonstrate their commitment to community service and showcase their initiative. By regularly volunteering, children can demonstrate their dedication towards positively impacting society and how they are willing to go beyond their academic responsibilities. This can bring practical benefits, such as increasing their chances of being accepted into a DSA-sec programme. With youth volunteering on the rise in Singapore, it is essential for your child to keep up with this trend to remain competitive.
Despite this, it’s important to remember that volunteering should be genuine, and these practical reasons should not be your main motivation behind volunteering. The true essence of volunteering lies in the act of selflessly giving back to the community, and children should participate in volunteer work with an earnest desire to help others.
In conclusion, volunteering is an excellent way to help others while also providing valuable benefits to the volunteers themselves, particularly children.
With youth volunteerism on the rise in Singapore, it is essential to encourage your children to participate in volunteer activities and instil in them a sense of social responsibility and dedication to creating a positive impact on society.
Discover how you can make a positive impact by volunteering at the following helpful links: