5 Ways to Teach Your Kids How to be Humanitarians

5 Ways to Teach Your Kids How to be Humanitarians

PC: un.org

It seems like every other day is some goofy holiday thought up to keep people from falling asleep at work. But in reality, some lesser-known holidays are more important than others. If you think all these little holidays are pointless, take a closer look at World Humanitarian Day.

Every August 19th, the United Nations and countless others around the world celebrate World Humanitarian Day. What's the point, you wonder? Well, since you asked, WHD has three main goals:

  1. to recognize aid workers around the world

  2. to celebrate the spirit of humanitarianism

  3. to motivate people to promote a more humane world

Now, you might say that's all fine and nice, but what can you do on an individual basis to be a humanitarian yourself? According to the World Humanitarian Website, there's a lot you can do, including starting on social media.

But if you have young children and you're looking for ways to teach them to be more humane in everyday life, here are some helpful ideas:

1. Help out a neighbor.

Not everyone has the time or ability to take care of their own property, including the elderly, or a single mother. If you know of someone in such a situation in your own neighborhood, take some time to do a good deed for them. It can be as simple as mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, or planting flowers in their front flowerbed. If your children are particularly young, you can even offer to get a neighbor's mail or to take out their garbage cans. Whatever it is, it only needs to be small and heartfelt.

2. Host a bake sale for charity.

You know how your kids always try to "help" while you're making food? Well, here's the perfect opportunity to entertain them while teaching them about humane charitable work. You make something as simple as cupcakes or cookies, and then hold a bake sale on the 19th. Lemonade stands are also always a favorite. This is also a great way to spread awareness about World Humanitarian Day. If you're looking for causes to donate your proceeds to, here are some great ones:
  2. World Food Program
  3. UNHCR
  4. International Rescue Committee
Make sure that you talk to your kids about where the money is going, and show them pictures of people the money is going to help.

3. Collect school supplies

Although the worries and problems of refugees seem to be far off, there are plenty of people in your own county who need help and assistance. If you need a cause to support, try collecting school supplies for the Fill a Backpack, Fill a Need campaign. This small sacrifice can make a huge difference in the life and education of a child in your area. As school begins, many children don't have the supplies they need to succeed. Teachers have a small enough budget for supplies at it is, so it's difficult for them to be responsible for gearing students up for school. Instead, take your kids with you to buy a backpack. Then, go to an office supply store and fill it with the school basics: pencils, paper, notebooks, binders, erasers, lead, etc. It's not a huge draw on your budget, and it sure will go a long way for a child somewhere in your area.

4. Take your kids to a care center

Most of the time, people in retirement homes and care centers just need a friend or someone to talk to. If your family is musical, try singing some simple songs when you go. You can call ahead at local centers to schedule a performance time, or just stop by during basic visiting hours.

5. Make blankets for those in need

Whether you donate your finished product to the IRC or somewhere nearby, blankets aren't hard to make. Here is a great way to make blankets without sewing, which is a great activity to do with the kiddos! Of course, you can also always bring your kids to the baby cubby to pick out a special blanket to donate.

The sky is the limit, here. All you need to do is help your children realize that helping others is important and rewarding. So start brainstorming, August 19th is coming up soon!

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