Our Focus: Helping Kids in Need
Our nation’s children are one of our most vulnerable demographics and they are our most valuable asset for the future. Helping them is an important job! The best nonprofits that are serving children tend to focus on one crucial aspect in the life of children, such as feeding them, clothing them, providing them with homes, or providing them with beds. If you’re looking for a nonprofit to partner with, give money to, or volunteer for, understanding the organization’s purpose and vision is a great place to start.
For example, at Sleep in Heavenly Peace, we believe every child deserves a bed of their own. We know that a child’s health and well-being can depend on the quality of their sleep—and, we also know that sleeping on floors prevents a good night’s sleep from happening. Our organization builds, assembles, and delivers every bed we donate.
Many people want to help kids who are less fortunate, but they often aren’t sure how to go about it in their own communities. Let’s take a look at how you can help those around you in small and big ways.
Teach Your Kids About Charity and Volunteering
As a parent, raising your child with morals and manners is important. But so is raising them to show compassion, grow in empathy, and understand the importance of charity. Understanding that other people can lead very different lives than them and that they should serve those less fortunate than themselves can be life-changing. Truth be told, we need the younger generation to understand these things for the good of all present and future generations.
Have you ever heard the saying, “Only this generation can reach this generation”? This applies across the board in many ways. Your kids have the potential to greatly impact the lives of other kids.
Training Your Children to Give
The concept of giving to others is not one that everyone naturally understands. This is why it’s so important to acclimate your kids to this idea early on and train them up to learn how to serve others.
You may look at your preschooler or kindergartener and think, “How could they understand the concept of giving at their age?” You’d be surprised what they can pick up just from watching you! Children are so observant. If you start by showing them by example and teaching them to share with others when they are young, those things can be the foundation you build on as they get older.
As your child gets older, there are a few ways for you to start to help your kids develop this feeling of responsibility toward others that leads to serving others through giving to charity and volunteering their time, including:
- Teaching them to care about others
- Continuing to model the behavior
- Encouraging gratitude
- Bring up conversations about those less fortunate, the concept of giving, and asking them their thoughts on the subject
Whether it’s giving of time or material goods, there are ways for kids to do their own giving. They can help choose which foods to donate to a food bank from the store or your pantry, or you could let them pick out bedding that you want to donate to SHP. There are often volunteer positions at schools for kids to give, such as helping to lead a new student around the school. You might even suggest that they drop a few coins from their allowance into a donation bucket now and again and talk through why that’s a good thing and how it’s helping.
If having conversations around this subject is difficult for you, there are many resources and books that could be helpful. Asking a local or school librarian for resources can go a long way! They usually have some great books in mind for your kids and resources for you.
Encouraging your child to get involved and to serve others at a young age benefits them just as it does those they are serving.
Giving Back as a Family
If your child is ready to jump in, volunteering as a family is a great way to start! This allows your child to experience the joys of giving back in a safe and comfortable environment where you can support and encourage them. That’s one of the reasons we love Build Days so much. It’s so great to have parents bring their teenagers to work together to build beds in their communities. So many parents are always so surprised at how invested their teenagers get! Who knows, maybe your child will surprise you as well.
Ways to Help Local Kids in Need
There are so many community organizations doing great work! So much so, that it can be challenging to decide where and how you want to get involved. If you are not able to help other families financially, there are other ways you can give back on a budget. Typically, volunteer commitments don’t take more than a few hours a month. Most organizations allow for complete flexibility, so you can give back whenever works best with your schedule.
Here are some examples of ways that you could volunteer your time or give donations to a local organization in need:
- Help at a local food bank or soup kitchen
- Donate blood at the American Red Cross
- Provide companionship to children with special needs
- Volunteer at animal shelters
- Deliver meals to families in need and/or the homeless
- Participate in local parks and recreation cleanup events
- Volunteer at an after-school program and help children with their homework
- Provide pro bono professional services
- Help in a nursing home or adult care facility teaching basic technology skills or helping residents exercise
- Participate in a community advocacy group
- Donate clothing and other items to local children’s shelters
- Volunteer for a Bunkbed Build Day with SHP
If you begin volunteering at an organization and decide it’s not a good fit, you can always try another. Finding an organization to volunteer with that aligns with your values and interests is one of the best ways to ensure long-term commitment to a cause. If you’re passionate about it, you’ll want to continue doing it! Plus, you bring a unique mix of skills to the table. Serving where you can put those skills to good use is important.
It may also surprise you to know that there are many career-boosting, economic, and personal benefits to volunteering your time at a nonprofit organization. You can receive favorable tax treatment for qualified expenses. You can acquire or refine skills and professional experience by volunteering your time. You can even forge new social connections through your volunteer time.
All nonprofit organizations need the help of volunteers and donors to fulfill their work, but the best volunteers are always those who are 100% behind the organization’s vision.
Helping Kids Through SHP
We are a charity that serves local kids across the nation and internationally, and we need help from our community members! There are plenty of things needed to help kids feel more comfortable in their homes, including:
Through physical donations, the time of our volunteers, and monetary donations, we’re able to provide all of these things to kids.
One of the ways in which we fulfill our mission is through Build Days. These are a great way for families, individuals, or entire organizations to get involved with SHP. Typically, Build Days last about 4 hours, but the time needed can depend on how many beds are planned to be built. It also depends on how many volunteers we have, how many resources we have to build the beds, and how much demand there is for the beds in that town. All tools are provided by SHP and no experience is needed for these build days! We have SHP staff onsite that can teach you everything you need to know and will give you a job that you can do.
Monetary donations and purchases made from our SHP store go a long way in our organization. Our goal is for 80% of donations to go back into the bed building and delivery process and 20% to go toward tools and fundraising. 100% of all donations go toward the purchase, assembly, development, materials, delivery, and organization of the beds. Putting our mission first is and always will be our top priority.
Learn more about donating or volunteering with us and help kids in your community!