Why students must get involved in social work at a young age – to empower and educate other children.
Have you ever experienced giving a little child a chocolate bar and their face lightening up with the brightest smile as they give you the warmest hug? Isn’t it the most gratifying feeling? Community service teaches us to take things for granted and gives us the opportunity to do our part in helping those in need. It is extremely crucial to start getting involved in social work at a young age in order to educate and empower underprivileged children.
However, some might disagree and say that community service can be overwhelming for students as it is hard to balance schoolwork extra-curricular. Some parents don’t allow their children to do community service as they don’t feel safe about the idea of their children (especially younger ones) being exposed to the harsh environment and the state of poverty underprivileged kids live in. Many people only encourage their children to start community service when they reach high school, so they can meet graduation requirements. Instead of teaching them community service at an early age, they just say that kids shouldn’t worry about this.
On the other hand, they don’t realise how wrong this mindset is. Community service teaches empathy, helps build character and gives a great sense of gratefulness. Would you want your child to start working towards bettering the lives of those less fortunate at the age of five, or wait till they are fifteen to only volunteer for extra credit?
Community service not only gives children a bigger grip on reality but also teaches them that even the slightest bit of their time can change someone else’s life; it also gives underprivileged children a sense of belonging. Through community service, students gain real-world experience and practice important habits like leadership, problem-solving, and time-management. It can help your child make deep connections with other children from very different backgrounds.
Doing volunteer work can help teenagers improve their mental health. This is proven by a 2018 study on volunteerism and health that found that participants experienced an 8.5% increase in mental health and a 4.3% decrease in depression after volunteering regularly.
In addition, children who start helping those in need at a young age, change the world in many different ways. Nicholas Lowinger is a great example of this. When Nicolas was a tween, he met a brother and sister who were experiencing homelessness. The pair took turns going to school because they shared a pair of shoes. Nicolas gave the boy a pair of basketball sneakers, and thus kicked off an organization that would come to be known as Gotta Have Sole, through which footwear has been donated to over 99,000 children in homeless shelters.
Three years later, ‘Gotta Have Sole’ has donated new footwear to over 42,000 children in homeless shelters in 36 states across the United States. Yash Gupta is another example of how vital it is for young children to help out the community. He was inspired to collect eyeglasses for children in need at the age of 14, after breaking his own corrective lenses and having to wait a week for a replacement pair.
The group collects used glasses and delivers them to children who need them. They have given out over 1.5 million dollars worth of eyewear in places like Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, and India. There are countless more examples of children who have improved the lives of people living in poverty. Don’t you also want to improve a little child’s life like Yash and Nicolas have? It doesn’t require a lot. Just your time and love.