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Caring, Asset of the Month

Posted: February 8, 2024
Follow your good intentions with great actions
People can help and care for others directly or indirectly. Direct help is when you spend time and interact with people who need care. Indirect help is when you collect money, food, or other items to give to people who distribute the items to those in need. It’s important for young people to be involved in both direct and indirect caring. Caring is Asset 26 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.
Here are the facts
Research shows that young people who place a high value on caring are more likely to promote and model positive rather than negative behaviors. Over half of young people, ages 11–18, say they place a high value on helping others, according to Search Institute surveys. If everyone cared for one another, the world would be a safer, happier, more peaceful place.
Tips for building this asset
Caring about others includes caring for a lot of different people: those in your family, neighborhood, school, community, state, country, and the world. It can also include caring for animals and the environment. Volunteering—whether for a group or an individual—is an excellent way for young people to show they care. But the easiest, quickest way to demonstrate you care? Simply smile at those around you.
Do Something Unexpected. For someone in your home, in your neighborhood or at school or place of work.
In your home and family: Most people love a surprise, especially when that surprise is something that helps them or makes their life a little bit easier, if just for a minute. It could be as simple as a card to show appreciation “Just because,” or offering to babysit one night so a friend or family member can take a break. It could be saying, “Hey, I’ll cook dinner tonight” or “Hey, I’ll take out the trash,” and then just doing it.
In your neighborhood and community: Drop off a simple treat like baked goods or cook/bring them a healthy meal. Offer help – whether they need help carrying groceries or mowing their lawn. Respect your neighbor’s property and privacy and avoid being noisy late at night or early in the morning. Have a neighborhood garage sale. Use the proceeds to purchase necessities and gifts for a local family in need or donate them to a local charity.
Want to know more about the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them? Visit