Volunteering with Kids Develops World Citizens: MLK Day of Service Blog Hop

This post is part of the MLK Day of Service Blog Hop.  See details at the bottom of this post, including how to share your own posts and ideas about MLK Day and/or doing volunteer work with kids.

Volunteering with Kids Develops World Citizens | Multicultural Kid Blogs

I want my boys to be world citizens .  . to  know that the world is greater than the 15 square miles we drive around in on a regular basis.  I want them to embrace, seek out, and appreciate the differences found across our world.

What is a world citizen?
  • Someone who feels at home in the world!  (from Trilingual Mama)
  • A person who is aware of and celebrates the vast diversity as well of the similarities of people all around the globe.  (from The Educators’ Spin On It)
  • To me, a world citizen is someone who has a firm grasp of the breadth, depth and true diversity of the world around them and strives to seize any and all available opportunities to make a true impact on the global community.  (from Raising World Citizens)
  • To me, a world citizen is a cosmopolite, or to quote Thomas Paine “The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren and to do good is my religion.”  (from Expat Since Birth
  • In my quest to raise a World Citizen, I want my son to understand that in this world we are all the same, yet at the very same time that we are all different. It’s important to understand and respect them both.  (from Chasing the Donkey)

Teaching them to be world citizens—knowing about the world around them, the needs of others, and how we are all part of the same existence is something I can do right in my own home, in my community.

Among many activities that can be done in teaching my children how to be world citizens, I have found that volunteer work, completing service projects, has had great impact in expanding their experiences and understanding others.

Service projects allow our children to help others and break down the barriers of differences in language, appearance, and nationalities.

When you reach out to help others, you:

  • Interact with people you don’t know.
  • Get to know people that live differently than you do.
  • Learn about the lives of others that live outside your home.
  • Witness that every person experiences the same emotions of happy, sad, fear, anger, and joy (to name a few)
Helping others breaks down the barriers of differences in language, appearance, and perspective.

Recently, my boys and I had the opportunity to visit with a resident in a nursing home that was wheelchair bound.  This gentleman also wasn’t originally from the United States (where we are), had a limited English vocabulary, and was listening to music that would be unusual to hear in our community.  During the course of showing him some magic tricks, the boys learned that he also *loved* magic tricks.  I wish you could have seen the pantomime and gesticulation between the three of them as they giggled, looking surprised, and totally enjoyed showing each other magic tricks.

“Mom, I want to learn to be able to talk to him better.  
I had so much fun showing him tricks, and I KNOW he liked them.”

Seeing how their actions help another is a powerful way to teach children that:

1)   They can make a difference to others, and

2)   No matter the language, origin of country, or skin color, we have more in common with one another than we have different from each other.

In the United States, today, it is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day or MLK Day.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


No matter where you are living in the world, take time today to do something for someone else, help someone else, with your children.

Look for local community service projects:

  • Thank the community helpers that work at the fire station and police station.
  • Find organizations in your area to help.  (My family works with the food pantry and the homeless shelter on a regular basis.)
  • Seek out ways to help your neighbors.
  • Visit a nursing home.

Look for service projects that help people that live outside your community:

  • Soles4Souls uses donations of shoes and clothing to create jobs for those in need.
  • Soap Cycling works to improve hygiene and sanitation in impoverished communities.
  • Peepoo works to address the needs to sanitation in communities across the globe.
  • FreeRice works to address areas of the world that need help with access to food.

Note from Sheila at Pennies of Time:  I am all for providing supplies and resources to communities that have need.  However, if you do not take the opportunity to discuss with your kids:

1.  Why the community has need,

2.  Why it is important to seek out ways to fill that need, and

3.  Share the impact that we can have when our small action is combined with another,

. . . Then all you are doing is handing off stuff.  Don’t just donate stuff.

Teach your children about what it is going on with the needs of others in the world.

Empower them to help others, and you will teach them to be world citizens. Read how one boy was inspired to sacrifice to help:

The Power of Giving:  One Child, One Dollar from The Good Long Road

Sheila began her career in education by working with children and continues to serve as an advocate for children that are at-risk.   She has taught in a variety of settings from a classroom in small town Texas to a psychiatric unit in Chicago. She is the mother of two young boys and is the voice of Pennies of Time where she shares the adventures of serving with her two young boys.  You can see more of what they do on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Multicultural Kid Blogs is proud to announce that this year we are joining in the US Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service by challenging our readers (and ourselves!) to take the time to do service with our children.  Today some of our wonderful bloggers are sharing ideas about the kinds of volunteer work they have done with their kids.

Share your own ideas in the comments or by linking up below!  You can also join the discussion in our Google + Community!

For some ideas on doing volunteer work with kids, browse our list of family-friendly service projects or great organizations to support.  You can also follow our Teaching Global Citizenship and Black History boards on Pinterest.

Also be sure to check out this wonderful freebie pack from Daria on MLK Day!

Participating Blogs

Multicultural Kid Blogs

Pennies of Time

365 Days of Motherhood

Africa to America

All Done Monkey

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

The Good Long Road

Kid World Citizen

Learning to Be the Light

A Path of Light

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