There are many volunteering activities that are restricted to older students, and these are largely due to safety factors. Younger children are trusting and open, and they often do not recognize harmful situations until it is too late. School districts that have a history of student volunteerism are careful to weed out dangerous activities, but many of them believe volunteering should begin at a young age. That is one reason many schools have programs for smaller children.
Not all volunteer programs are expected to be hands on, and this gives young children a chance to participate. Many of the programs designed for them include tasks such as drawing pictures for people they have never met, and their efforts are shipped off to homes for the elderly. Sharing their drawings is one way for them to be able to give to the community, and the elderly people are often kind enough to write their young students notes.
When children learn how to read and write, they might still be too young for many of the volunteer activities of older students, but they can still participate. Writing to those who seldom get mail, such as older people in nursing homes, is one of the ways they can help without direct participation. Some of them are also allowed to write to students in places where poverty is overwhelming, and their pen pals are given supplies to write back to them. It is a good way to help them volunteer as well as experience the lives of others.
Not all schools have programs for the young when it comes to volunteering, but it is becoming more popular every year. School morning primary assemblies is a good time to inform young children of opportunities to volunteer. The benefits to the young students outweigh the time and cost involved in helping them participate, and those in need find that someone cares about them. This helps both parties find the joy in the simple pleasures of life.