Many people want to join family organizations that help strengthen families and communities. Some of these types of groups or associations focus on philanthropy, while others feature children's educational programs and activities. Depending on your needs, interests and goals, you may find a local chapter of one of these organizations that emphasizes family and community values.
There are many children's organizations that teach and encourage great values. These groups are sometimes large, even international associations that have a local chapter in your neighborhood. All of these options offer excellent ways to enlighten your kids, to see that there is an entire universe outside of themselves.
Alex's Lemonade Stand
Kids love having their own lemonade stand! Alex's Lemonade Stand raises money to fight childhood cancers. Kids can hold their own lemonade stand and donate the profits to the cause, experiencing the feeling that giving back is so much better than stockpiling all of those quarters and dollars.
Most kids are fortunate to be surrounded by toys, yards, and local playgrounds to go play in and explore. This isn't the case for everyone. Teach your children that some kids go without the recreational amenities that they are so used to having. Kaboom is an organization that aims to bring adequate play spaces to all children in every community. Get your children active by encouraging them to build play structures, not just use them.
Earth Scouts encourages children age three and older to become responsible, caring global citizens of planet Earth. Those participating in this organization promote hopes of a sustainable and peaceful world through education and activities. They earn badges based on the core principles: respecting nature, human rights for all, economic fairness and corporate responsibility, democracy, and a culture of peace and nonviolence.
With more than six million youth and adult members, 4-H is an organization that aims to empower children and teenagers to live up to their full potential. The four H's stand for head, heart, hands, and health. Originally started in the late 1800s, the organization taught community youth about agriculture, such as gardening and raising animals, as well as homemaking activities, including sewing and cooking. The modern 4-H teaches young people many different skills that can help them contribute to their communities and develop ideas that may create a more innovative economy. This global organization features several types of learning and research-based activities and divisions.
Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scouts of America is one of the U.S.'s largest youth development organizations. It was first started in 1910, and it currently provides a wide variety of programs that emphasize personal fitness, character building, and being a contributing citizen for the good of the nation and the world. The membership is comprised of boys of all ages and backgrounds. Scouts can earn badges in hundreds of areas, such as first aid, camping, and swimming. The main divisions include Cub Scouts, Tiger Cubs, Webelos Scouts, and Eagle Scouts.
Girl Scouts of the USA
Young girls can join the Girl Scouts of the USA, famously known for their annual cookie sales. This group was founded in 1912 and currently has more than 3.2 million members in more than 92 countries worldwide. Through local meetings, field trips, and community volunteer projects, it teaches girls about leadership, self-worth, living up to their potential, community and personal values, and social conscience. Girl Scouts also earn badges and pins in a wide variety of topics, including camping, sewing, and sailing. The major divisions include Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, and Cadets.
Getting kids involved in programs and organizations that emphasize giving back to others and supporting people in the community are stellar ways to raise children with strong morals and values. Adults, too, can also choose from many different types of community organizations that foster family values. As they say, parents must lead by example.
Together We Rise
Together We Rise is a non-profit organization made up of young people and former foster children set on making a difference in the lives of present-day foster children. The foundation aims to bring more resources to children in the foster care system and educate volunteers working within the system to improve foster children's overall quality of life in communities.
Homes For Our Troops
Every town or city has at least a few military service members who call it home, and a strong community honors those who have fiercely served and protected the country. Homes For Our Troops focuses on aiding wounded veterans. The organization devotes time and energy to building quality homes for people who have served in recent wars and, as a result of their active duty, suffered extensive, life-altering injuries.
YMCA of the USA
The YMCA has long been an advocate of people in communities by strengthening and empowering young people and improving the health and general well-being of the community members. The YMCA has a presence in over 10,000 communities in the United States, reaching people by offering opportunities to help community members discover their truest and fullest potential.
Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America
Not every child in a community has the critical family support that they deserve. This is where Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America steps in and makes an enormous impact on the lives of youth in need. Adult volunteers and children needing love, support, companionship, and guidance are paired together so that kids can still grow up experiencing positive, strong, and meaningful relationships with adults.
Lion's Club International
With more than 45,000 local chapters and 1.4 million members worldwide, Lion's Club International is a volunteer organization that focuses on local communities and the world as a whole. It is currently the world's largest service club organization, and members participate in a wide variety of volunteer activities. For example, members organize large-scale food drives, build playgrounds, provide schoolbooks for children, and provide transportation to local senior citizens who need help.
Habitat for Humanity
If you want to join a community organization that helps the less privileged in your neighborhood, consider Habitat for Humanity. This non-profit Christian organization was founded in 1976 and aims to eliminate homelessness and inferior housing from the world. Members of all ages, backgrounds, and religions come together to build houses in the local community for families in need. This organization has built more than 400,000 affordable houses for more than two million people since its inception.
Tips for Finding the Right Organization to Join
- Talk to friends, co-workers, neighbors, school employees, or religious leaders and see if they have any insight as to which organizations in your community need assistance.
- Before committing to any one group, check out the group's website and learn more about their mission statement, membership, and organized activities.
- Ask if you can attend one of the local meetings or events to get a feel for the members and the group as a whole.
Instilling Strong Values in Your Kids
Giving back to your community is a fun way to make the world a better place. Getting your entire family involved and teaching children the importance of family values from a young age results in enhanced personal and community bonds throughout your own community as well as the world at large.