In the past few weeks, our children’s lives have been turned upside down. From school closings, performance and sport cancellations, postponed traditions such as prom and graduation, to no more playdates, the way our kids interact with the world is evolving minute by minute. However, in the midst of these social losses, there’s an abundance of opportunities for children to give to and help people and organizations in need, nationally and within their local community.
First and foremost, your family’s health and safety are paramount. Please follow all CDC guidelines with respect to social interactions with seniors and those individuals at high-risk for developing COVID-19.
Here are some age-appropriate suggestions that allow you and your children to practice “social distancing” and philanthropy at the same time.
Preschoolers and Older
- Create drawings or art projects to share with an isolated neighbor or nursing home residents who can no longer have visits from friends and family.
- Use Facetime, Skype, or a similar application to stay in touch with grandparents and other family members.
Elementary School and Older
- Use allowance or birthday money to make a donation to a non-profit organization. Help your child determine the amount and type of charity they would like to support: food insecurity, animals, homeless shelters, medical causes. For more information, please see our article about Teaching Charitable Giving.
- Write a thank you note or letter of encouragement to an isolated neighbor, nursing home residents, or medical teams who are working extra shifts. INOVA Fairfax has a way to send a note without leaving your home. Just follow this link to send a note electronically.
- Make and donate items such as fleece blankets and cat scratchers to your local animal shelter. (Please call first to see when and if they are accepting non-monetary donations).
- Offer to help an elderly neighbor with everyday tasks such as walking their dog, retrieving the mail and newspaper, and doing yardwork.
- Teen drivers can help neighbors in need by picking up groceries or prescriptions.
- Help a neighbor set up an online account for grocery delivery.
Additionally, teens might be looking for ways to become more involved beyond philanthropy. If your teen is in good health, and won’t be risking exposure to someone at high-risk for developing COVID-19, other considerations include:
- Give blood (if age appropriate).
- Volunteer at a local food bank or animal shelter.
- Look for employment opportunities at local grocery stores, pharmacies and other businesses in need of workers during the COVID-19 crisis.
The impacts of the coronavirus are challenging for all of us to comprehend, even as adults. One of the best things that we can do for ourselves, and particularly for our kids, is to make this a teaching moment of how we can help others.
If you know someone impacted by COVID-19, please consider sharing our Coronavirus Financial Resources.
You might also be interested in our Tips For Helping Others During The Coronavirus.
SageVest Wealth Management wishes you and your family the best of health.