Growing Up Grateful: Community Service Ideas for Kids and Families

It’s a tough question for parents and educators everywhere – how do we emphasize traits like compassion, selflessness, and empathy in a self-centered, social media-obsessed society? One way to help our children and teenagers better gain a world view and make a positive impact is through community service.

What are some simple ways to involve your children (and yourself!) with service? Below, we’ve listed some easy ways to get started, featuring some organizations that Cannon School students have been involved with throughout the years.

1. The Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte provides a caring “home away from home” for families and children undergoing treatment at Charlotte-area medical centers. They have some wonderful volunteer opportunities for youth. They invite children aged 6-11 to the House once a month to make crafts, and teens can get involved with a volunteer service program.


Each year, our students participate in the school-wide service initiative Project Wrap-In. Ronald McDonald House is one of the beneficiaries. Students have also created door decorations and care packages for patients.

2. Giving is always in season at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, which aims to end hunger in our region. You can help by giving food or joining their volunteer force to inspect, sort, and pack items.

3. Have a child who is passionate about helping Fido and other four-legged friends? The Humane Society of Concord and Greater Cabarrus County has a number of ways for kids and families to get

Kendyl holds up a finished chew toy created for the Humane Society of Concord and Cabarrus County during the Upper School Day of Service.

4. Headbands of Hope holds a place near and dear to our hearts here at Cannon – alumna Jess Ekstrom ’09 founded the company, which matches the sale of every headband with a donation of a headband to a child with cancer. (You can read Jess’s story here.) There are plenty of ways you can donate your time to become a “Headband Hero-” just click here to find out how!

hoh_-_jessicaJess Ekstrom ’09 combines entrepreneurship with philanthropy through her company, Headbands of Hope.