4 Ways to Get Your Kids Involved in Giving Back in Richmond (And Up Off the Couch)

Can you believe the holidays are nearly here? Chances are your kids are already anxiously awaiting their breaks from school—but we know how excitement can turn to boredom and ennui within just a few days.

If your kids are prone to becoming screen zombies or you’re wondering how to keep them entertained, why not put them to work doing good? The holidays are a perfect time for giving back to the community and connecting with others.

Volunteering will also add depth to your teen’s resume. And while younger children may lack the attention span for community service, there are still a number of ways for them to get involved in the Richmond community.

1. Help furry friends at Richmond SPCA

A great way to get your kids involved in giving back is to tempt them with four-legged critters. The Richmond SPCA is a wonderful local nonprofit, no-kill humane society dedicated to helping save the lives of animals in need—and they can always use community support.

If your child is over 14, they can volunteer independently to help around the shelter and socialize animals (kids under 14 can volunteer if accompanied by a parent). If crafting is more your child’s style, put them to work making homemade toys for cats and dogs, DIY cardboard cat houses, or homemade healthy dog biscuits to donate. They’ll get to enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling of giving back, as well as claim some thank you cuddles from resident animals.

2. Don a construction cap for Richmond Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is known nationwide for its work providing safe, affordable homes to those in need—and our Richmond Metropolitan Habitat chapter offers a number of ways you can help serve that mission. Teens who are at least 16 can donate their time and hammering power to home builds, while younger kids have a number of youth-oriented options for helping out.

This month on Saturday, November 3rd, Richmond Habitat for Humanity is hosting a LEGO Blitz Build for children aged 5-12. The event promises to be a fun day of team LEGO building, prizes, and the opportunity to learn more about Habitat and its mission.

3. Donate old clothes and toys (and tidy up rooms in the process)

Kids seem to grow out of clothing and hobbies at an alarming speed—all while maintaining an anti-Kondo philosophy and hoarding everything. Accomplish two tasks at once by having them spend an afternoon going through clothes that no longer fit, toys that haven’t been touched in years, and books that they’ve aged out of so that others can enjoy what has been gathering dust under their bed. Knowing their things will go to help children who don’t have much can be a great motivator.

Once they’ve made their donation pile, head over to one of our many local organizations for drop off. ChildSavers relies on the generosity of donors to run their programs, and toys, books, costumes, and art supplies are used every day. Your next stop should be Housing Families First, who will gladly take clothing. Our local Goodwill and Salvation Army will also gladly accept donations.

4. Pick up trash from local parks

While we have so many wonderful local non-profits, your family can also simply commit to doing a bit of good in their own way. A great way to help Richmond is by donning a pair of gloves, grabbing a garbage bag, and picking up litter at a local park or around town.

While we’re proud to say most Richmond locals keep our common areas clean, it’s still likely you’ll come across a few stray pieces of garbage where they shouldn’t be. Head over to Maymont Park for a fun-filled outing with a side of litter duty or simply get your kids in the habit of keeping trash-pick-up supplies on hand.

Good luck and happy holidays!