by Cara Martens

Do you ever wonder what kids really think about serving?  I’d recommend Deep Justice in a Broken World: Helping your Kids Serve Others and Right the Wrongs Around Them by Chap Clark and Kara Powell. They mention a 2006 nationwide survey conducted by MTV to hear from students directly on why they help others.

*70% think it’s important to help others in need, but only 19% were “very involved”.

To unpack this further, the survey ranked the top five reasons youth aren’t involved.

  1. It’s just not for me (18%)
  2. I like to hang out with friends (15%)
  3. I don’t have enough time (14%)
  4. I don’t know how to get started (14%)
  5. I want to see concrete results (8%)

*70% of kids already involved helping others say that their parent’s encouragement played a major role in why they serve. (As parents we need to remember this one stat and understand our potential to engage our children in a bigger story.)

Two other important factors that would motivate more youth to get involved:

  • If they could do the activity with their friends.
  • If they had more time to volunteer or more convenient volunteer activities.

Over the next few days, we want to collect tips from parents about ways to encourage kids to serve.  What are your ideas?

Cara Martens works with Reggie (and Carey) on writing projects and parenting initiatives. She reads as much as possible to help provide research and new perspectives. Cara lives outside of Dallas, Texas with her husband of ten years and two kids