When your kids hear stories about other kids volunteering and stepping up to help people have they said, "I wanna do that!"? But where? How? Not every place can handle kid-volunteers. I got your back. Here are three ideas that'll give your kids a way to step up and help people in our community...

1 - Make posters for the Gift of Life Transplant House Wish List and put them up in stores, bathrooms, all over the place. They need some pretty basic stuff: baked goods (coooookies!), paper towels, paper napkins, Ziploc bags, toilet bowl cleaner and more (click here to see the whole list). They could be printer paper size, or on big tagboard, as an art project. They're not collecting the stuff, just encouraging others to donate, so make sure they include tear-offs with the address for the house (705 Second Street SW, Rochester, MN 55902)!

Pixland

2 - Visit residents at Madonna Living Community. If your kids are teenagers, have 'em click HERE and to spend time visiting, reading, playing games, writing letters, and that kinda stuff for someone. if they feel a little uncomfortable just walking in and talking, they could bring a little manicure kit, and offer to do their nails, so they have something to do when they chat. The kind loving attention is so powerful.

3 - Write a thank you letter to the first responders. "First responders typically include paramedics, emergency medical technicians, police officers, firefighters, rescuers, and others..." It can be something simple, or, as in the first idea, it could be a tag-board filled with thank yous from church members, neighborhood kids, whoever your kids get to sign. Lord knows we're blessed with first responders working long hours and risking their lives for us. A thank you note is actually pretty easy, but it has a huge impact.  Deliver it in person, with some brownies? Boom.

BONUS: Nothing on the list interest your kids? OK, click HERE and register as a United Way of Olmsted County volunteer...there are so many organization and people needing help in Rochester they have a great Volunteer Opportunity Bank. You may need to go along with 'em, but trust me, it is an amazing thing that grows between parents and kids volunteering together. You can even pick areas that interest you and get messages when that kind of opportunity comes up.

Listen to James Rabe 6a to 10a on Y-105 FM, and 2p to 6p on 103.9 The Doc.