By ellen wheeler
Volunteering is an outstanding way to determine and demonstrate core family values. You and your kids can put into practice the virtues you have identified while you make a positive impact on your world. Few things you can choose to do as a family are so impactful. Your community is lifted and each member of your family is expanded. But perhaps the biggest transformation comes to the family as a whole.
Shared experience outside normal day-to day routines forces family members to see themselves and their relations in a different light. Volunteering allows parents, children and other relatives to work as a team for a common goal. As they depend on each other and see the results of their hard work they form a bond. Nothing draws us closer
then seeing the result of working to reach objectives.
At the parenting website all4kids, we learn:
“There is no greater experience than serving together as a family! Taking an afternoon to focus on others takes the focus off of the problems that your own family may be experiencing. When you practice community involvement as a family, not only are you helping others but you’re also teaching your child valuable life lessons as well. Not only that, but it is also an excellent way to bond with your child, no matter their age.”
Take advantage of the many ways you and you and you kids can impact the story of your community and your family by finding ways to serve. Here are a few ideas:
Plant trees or wildflowers in your neighborhood.
Purchase produce and donate it to a local food bank or foot pantry.
Host a canned food drive for those in need.
Participate in a fun community event that brings awareness to a local cause such as 5K races.
Pick up litter at the beach or a park.
Develop and maintain a recycling program at your kids’ school or workplace.
Collect food, warm clothing, toys, or personal care items for the needy and deliver to shelters.
Collect unused makeup and cosmetics for a center for abused women. Feminine products are also a great donation item for a women’s shelter as well.
Make holiday cards, birthday cards, and notes for assisted living facilities, patients in a local hospital, or meals on wheels.
Donate old eyeglasses or shoes to an organization that recycles them for those in need.
Collect old stuffed animals and dolls, repair and clean them, and then donate to your local children’s shelter.
Read books to young kids at a library, family shelter, or children’s hospital.
At Christmas time, contact a tree farm or nursery about donating a Christmas tree to a family in need, shelter or nursing home – or purchase one and donate it yourself!
Make a holiday basket or Christmas care package for individuals in need.
Host a crayon and marker drive! Kids in the hospital use lots of art supplies. Offer to wash a neighbor’s dog, or take their pets for a walk!
Offer to wash a neighbor’s dog, or take their pets for a walk!
Write letters of gratitude and encouragement to service men, women, and families.
Put together a care package for service men and women and their families.
Collect and donate items on an animal organization or animal shelter’s wish list. If your family is good with kids, offer to babysit your neighbor’s children so that they can have a date night.
If your family is good with kids, offer to babysit your neighbor’s children so that they can have a date night.
Take your family to visit a retirement home and have senior citizens teach the kids games! Check beforehand to see if you can bring cookies or other treats.
Help a foster or adoptive family! Bring them a meal, offer assistance, or collect gift cards or clothing items. Even writing encouraging letters to the foster parents and the kids would mean the world to them. Contact local foster care agencies to learn more.
Have a garage sale or lemonade stand for your favorite cause or charity.
When school supplies are very cheap at the beginning of the year, purchase a backpack and supplies for a local child in need.
Bring gently used board games and decks of cards to a local homeless shelter, retirement home, or hospital.
Bring cookies or other treats to your local police station for the law enforcement officers.
Donate gently used baby and toddler toys to a nearby church, community center, or crisis pregnancy center. Diapers, wipes, and clothing are great donations as well.
Go through the books you’ve grown out of and donate them to the waiting room of a local doctor, a public local library, or look up where a “little free library” is in your community and leave them there!
Do errands, cook, bring a meal, provide transportation, or otherwise help someone in your community who is dealing with an illness.
Have your older kids tutor younger children in subjects in school that they excel in. all4kids