Every good parent wants to raise a child who grows up to be giving, charitable and conscious of the needs of others. A child who is charitable is so much more than that; they’re compassionate, kind, caring and thoughtful. When, and how, do we start teaching our children these values?

The sooner, the better!  Here are some great opportunities in the Nashville area, or just at home, to take part in as a family.

Want to start at home? Conduct a canned food drive! Ask your friends, family, neighbors, and church to donate to your drive. You can even make flyers with your children to put up and decorate the boxes you store them in, so it’s a big project. Then, donate them to your local food bank or collection site. You can look up Second Harvest of Middle Tennessee for more information.

Instead of canned food, you can collect supplies that people in need may be searching for, socks, toiletry items, etc. Hand’s On Nashville has a list on their website (hon.org) of materials that non-profits in the area need. You could look that over with your family and decide what you could donate or collect to help out!

The last thing you could collect at home is books! Get used books from your school, church or neighborhood to donate to children in the Middle Tennessee area who don’t have any themselves. When it comes time to donate, check with the closest library to see if they’re taking donations – the Nashville Public Library distributes books to children and teens in low-income families. The Williamson County Public Library (WCPL) also accepts book donations, and a portion of their book donations go to Friends of WCPL, which are used at book sales to help support the library.

Looking to get out and participate in an event? Every year in Nashville, there are tons of opportunities to volunteer! Places like Autism Speaks, The National Down Syndrome Society, The Liver Foundation and countless more are constantly hosting events where you can sign up to do a 5K and often, there are games and treats before and after! You can check active.com and search Nashville to look at opportunities in your area to do a one-mile ‘Fun Run’ that’s family friendly.

Where we live, there is no shortage of opportunities to get out and give back – and it’s the best way to teach your children to prioritize helping others.  Get out there and have fun!

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