Kids Fighting Childhood Homelessness: Service Ideas for Kids

Fighting Childhood homelessness

There are lots of ways to get kids involved in community service. Kids Fighting Childhood Homelessness is an experience that could have a lifelong impact.

The Effects of Childhood Homelessness

People often joke about their “first world problems”.  Yes, most of us are blessed to live in a place that allows us to have whatever we need. However, for many kids in the United States, that isn’t the case. According to The National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH), 1 in 45 children in the United States will experience homelessness every year. That adds up to over 1.6 million children every year that don’t know where they will lay their head at night or eat their next meal. Homelessness also has many other serious effects on children. Studies from the NCFH and other organizations have shown that children experiencing homelessness (see their full fact sheet):

  • Are sick four times more often than other children & suffer from:
    • 4x as many respiratory infections
    • 2x as many ear infections
    • 5x more GI problems
    • 4x the incidences of asthma
  • Hunger at twice the rate of other children
  • Have higher rates of obesity due to nutritional deficiencies
  • Experience 3x the rate of emotional and behavioral problems compared to other children.

These things don’t even take into account the increase in experiences with violence or the higher rate of academic challenges endured by these children.

How Can Kids Help Fight Childhood Homelessness

Children experiencing homelessness need and deserve the same opportunities that other kids have. Encouraging your kids to work towards ending childhood homelessness is a wonderful way to help kids get involved in community service and philanthropy in a powerful and lasting way. Some ideas to help your kids help their peers are:

  • Raise money and help build a Habitat for Humanity home in their community. Youth ages 5 to 25 can get involved as leaders, planners, fund-raisers and press agents. Youth ages 16 to 25 can work on the construction site to help build the home.
  • Make blankets with Maddie’s Blankets to donate (large blankets are used for youth in foster care, shelters, or transitional housing).
  • Raise money to donate to organizations like The Little Red Wagon Foundation. An organization started by Zach Bonner as a 6 year old when he saw first-hand how many homeless children were in his local community.
  • Collect and donate clothing, food, or toys to your local food bank or homeless shelter.
  • Volunteer at a local homeless shelter to help with whatever activities are deemed age appropriate by the shelter.
  • Raise money to donate to Gotta Have Sole, an organization started by a then 12 year old boy that wanted to provide new shoes to children living in shelters across the US.

These are just a few ideas. Kids should be encouraged to be creative! Do something that speaks to them whether it is a lemonade stand or a door to door campaign. Every snowball starts small, but if they are shaped just right and rolled down the right hill, they can have a tremendous impact.

To help a kids start their own snowball to fight childhood homelessness, click on the button below to apply for a grant to get them started.

 

 

Comments