Of the 7 billion people living on earth today, a quarter of them, or 1,750,000,000, are 14 and younger. Those children are the future of our planet. They're the caretakers, parents, leaders, and thinkers of the future. What can we do today to support these kids? I can think of 10 supportive actions we can take today to support children around the world. Maybe my list will inspire you to help, too.
Donate to KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! promotes play and creates safe play environments for children around the world. In fact, they've built 16,300 playgrounds and served 8.1 million kids since 1996. Be part of their playful mission when you visit Kaboom.org and donate money, interact on social media, or volunteer your time.
Give Coats to Kids
A warm coat raises self-esteem, promotes pride, and builds excitement and joy for kids in need. Be part of providing kids in your community and around the country with a warm coat when you give money and other resources to Operation Warm.
Sponsor a Child Through Save the Children
You can't help every kid in the world escape poverty, but you can support Save the Children. By donating money, participating in a fundraiser, or sponsoring a child, you can provide medical treatment to newborns, tutor kids, and assist in disaster relief. Visit SavetheChildren.org and put 89 percent of your financial donation toward changing lives across the globe.
Volunteer at Your Local Library
Reading to kids improves their reading comprehension, standardized test scores, and chances of succeeding in life. Transform a child's life when you volunteer to read to kids at your local library.
Feed Hungry Children
As many as one in five kids in the U.S. are undernourished. We can change that statistic by donating an hour's wages, holding a bake sale, or volunteering with No Kid Hungry. The organization teaches nutrition and budgeting, operates food banks, and provides food to emergency relief organizations as it feeds our neighbors.
Fix Your Local Playground
Neglected playgrounds always make me feel a little sad as I think of the fun kids are missing. That's why I encourage you to take action in your neighborhood. Clean up trash, paint benches, and fix broken swing chains. You can also apply for grants or raise money for new equipment as you welcome kids to play safely.
Fund Doctors of the World
As many as 50,000 kids live on the streets of St. Petersburg, Russia. Did you know you can help those kids and children like them in 20 countries across the globe? Support Doctors of the World (DOW) with your financial donations and you combat epidemics, protect children's rights, and offer prenatal care.
Spend Device-Free Time With Your Kids
I appreciate that my kids need electronics for school projects and to stay in touch with family and friends, but they also need device-free time with me and each other. We unplug for dinner every night and at least one day a week. The experience builds stronger emotional bonds, boosts my kids' academic performance, and helps us have fun together. I encourage you to unplug with your family, too.
Support Reach Out and Read
Medical providers in all 50 states distributed 6.5 million books to kids in 2014. Be part of promoting literacy when you support Reach Out and Read. Donate money, volunteer, or buy a Ralph Lauren bookmark to support children's literacy.
Donate Birthday Presents
If your kids are like mine, they have enough stuff. This year, I'm challenging my girls to donate their birthday presents to kids in need. Instead of presents, their friends and family members can donate to a favorite children's charity in my girls' names as we all support kids around the world.
Are you ready to change the world one child at a time? Let's support kids with these 10 ideas. I can't wait to hear how you decide to make a difference!
Find more about the author: Kim Hart