Many parents have a hard time finding things they share in common with their teens. This isn’t helped by the fact that one’s teenage years are partially characterized by a desire to break away from their parents and seek independence. While some teens are more amenable to spending time with their folks than others, it’s generally difficult to get teenagers on board with the idea of doing much of anything with their parents. However, if you’re looking to teach your teen the value of charity, you may find giving back to the community to be the perfect bonding experience.
Volunteering Creative Skills
If there are any creative endeavors that both you and your teen enjoy, perhaps they could be put to use for local causes and charities. For example, if you’re both adept at graphic design, you may want to consider creating posters and/or digital art for your favorite charity organizations. You could also offer to design hats, T-shirts and other items that charities commonly give to members and those who donate. Similarly, if the two of you are skilled at web design, why not offer to revamp the respective websites of said organizations? Additionally, if any of your favorite charities lack websites entirely, the two of you could build them aesthetically sleek, user-friendly websites from the ground up.
Promoting Causes on Social Media
Not all charities have an active social media presence. Although the web’s most prominent social outlets are often effective vehicles for getting messages across, many charitable organizations lack the bandwidth and manpower to make social media messaging a priority. So, if this applies to any of your favorite charities, you and your teen should consider boosting them on social media.
For instance, if a local charity lacks any sort of social media presence, the two of you should offer to create accounts for them on various platforms. By updating these accounts on a consistent basis and encouraging friends, family members and assorted followers to promote them via their social media accounts, you can drum up quite a bit of attention for certain causes. Social media can also be an effective tool for recruiting new volunteers.
Just remember that everything you post reflects on the charities you’re representing. So, make an effort to avoid posting outright offensive content or engaging people in arguments when using charity accounts. The absolute last thing you want is to turn people off of your favorite causes, and certain conduct is liable to do just that.
Getting Involved in Food Drives
Despite being one of the richest countries in the world, the U.S. is home to countless citizens who suffer from food insecurity. If neither you nor your teen can stand the idea of people not having enough to eat, the two of you should think about taking part in a local food drive. Fortunately, such opportunities are easy to find in many communities. Schools, churches and other local fixtures tend to hold food drives throughout the year, especially during the holiday season. And by donating, encouraging others to donate and helping process donations, you can make a big difference in the lives of people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
If you’re unable to find a food drive in your area, there are still many ways to help those suffering from food insecurity. For example, many homeless shelters and places of worship are always accepting food donations. You could also get involved with a hunger-based charity that operates at the national level, like No Kid Hungry – which has attracted such big-name corporate partners as Pottery Barn Teen as a result of all the good it does.
We were all teenagers at one time. Even if you continued to have a close relationship with your parents during your teenage years, there’s a good chance you harbored a desire to form an identity independent of your folks. By the same token, your parents were likely searching for ways to remain an important part of your life. If you’re currently going the same thing with your teen, why not give charity a try? Nothing feels better than helping others, and giving back to the community is an activity that traverses generations.