Raising kids who value their fellow citizens as much as they value their iPads and their stuff feels like an uphill battle at times. We live in an increasingly selfish era, when fame and clicks are valued over service and the common good. It's difficult to balance selfie culture with service culture, but it's not impossible. One way we can do this as parents is through volunteering, especially at the holidays. In big cities like New York, we have myriad opportunities, and they can be overwhelming. Determining where to volunteer this Thanksgiving in New York City can be daunting, but it's also really rewarding.
This Thanksgiving, there are tons of opportunities to get your kids involved and help them understand and come to grips with the fact that we as a nation don't all share the same privileges. True, it's a hard lesson to learn, but empathy learned by volunteering not only encourages kids to continue to volunteer as they become adults, but it gives them the ability to really witness the good they're doing. It also strengthens your bond as a family, and serves to better your community, which isn't just beneficial for the recipients, but also for the volunteers. Plus, it just teaches kids that the world doesn't revolve around them, even if our world absolutely does.