Volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services. It is intended to promote good or improve human quality of life, but people also volunteer for their own skill development, to meet others, to make contacts for possible employment, to have fun, and a variety of other reasons.
Volunteering takes numerous forms and is performed by a wide range of people. Many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas they work in, but others such as children serve on an as-needed basis, as in response to a natural disaster or a school party.
“Children who volunteer can learn valuable skills while ‘on the job’” (Compassionate kids.com). They could also enjoy socialization opportunities, awareness of their community, and those less fortunate than themselves. Volunteering offers the chance to learn to appreciate what they have that other’s do not.
It’s important to work side-by-side with your child, since leading by example has been shown to be the most effective form of teaching. Children who see their parents volunteering are much more likely to believe in the value of working to help others.
Parents who work next to their children are especially helpful as they can share their knowledge, expertise, guidance, and love with their child. It is also a wonderful way to bond in a positive manner, knowing you are also assisting others at the same time. When individuals are focused on the task at hand, they have more time to speak without restraint and the conversation flows more freely.
According to Compassionate Kids, when choosing a volunteer opportunity, it’s important to consider the following:
? Your Child’s Interests
? Your Interests
? Your Child’s Abilities
? Your Abilities
? Location, Frequency, & Duration
? Staff Attitude
If you are interested in volunteering in the Des Moines area, here are a few places looking for volunteers for the summer months:
- Forest Park Museum,14581 K Ave., Perry, IA 50220, (515) 465- 3577 ( Youths ages 10-18 are invited to participate in Dallas County Conservation Boards Youth Volunteer Program beinning June 10th and running through July 15th).
- Orchard Place, Contact Michaela Tamisiea, Director of Volunteers, 925 SW Porter Ave., Des Moines, Iowa (515) 287-9621 or email at: [email protected]
- Animal Rescue League of Iowa, 5452 NE 22nd Street, Des Moines, Iowa
- Animal Rescue League of Iowa, 111 East Army Post Road, Des Moines, Iowa
- Aging Resources of Central Iowa, 5835 Grand Ave., Suite 106, Des Moines, Iowa
- Habitat for Humanity
- Goodwill Industries of Central Iowa, 4900 NE 22nd St., Des Moines, Iowa
- Des Moines Ronald McDonald House, 1441 Pleasant St., Des Moines, Iowa
- Blank Park Zoo, 7401 SW 9th St., Des Moines, Iowa
- Jester Park Equestrian Center, 11171 NW 103rd Court, Granger, Iowa