5 Times the Family Fun – Helping Others!
Put those Saturday morning chores on the back burner and team up as a family to serve others! National Family Volunteer Day is Saturday, November 23rd. Started by the HandsOn Network, Family Volunteer Day has been jump-starting the holiday season of giving for 22 years. How will you and your family show support this year?
We all know that even sharing a family meal together helps kids with their learning, communication skills and relationship-building. Imagine the impact you will make when you show your child the community benefits of volunteering and helping others.
When you start volunteering with your kids at an early age, you set them up for a lifetime of giving. Keep these tips in mind:
- Keeping it close to home (relatively or figuratively) keeps your family connected to the task
- Get neighbors, teams or classmates to joinin – FREE online signup sheets from VolunteerSpot can help you get organized and sends automatic reminders for you
- Schedule the length of tasks only as long as your kids can be engaged for their age
Here are some great ways kids of all ages can get involved.
Spruce Up the ‘Hood! – take a look around your neighborhood and ask your kids what they think is looking a little run down in the neighborhood. Have them help recruit neighbors to get involved (ask what tools/special skills they might offer). Look for projects such as mowing grass, raking leaves, painting fences or benches, picking up trash or planting flowers.
What’s Old is New! – plan a charity garage sale and consider teaming up with other families. Let your kids pick a charity they would like to support with the sale proceeds, and donate the unsold items. Teaming up with other families will amp up your appeal to buyers – and be sure to let them know it’s for charity! Add signs around the location a day or two before the event to create buzz.
Lend a Hand at Meal Time! – see what your city has to offer in serving hot meals. Area shelters and churches often serve breakfast on Saturday mornings and some offer daily dinner service as well. You could make this a monthly or weekly experience for your family!
Prep and Distribution! – not all people in need of meal are able to make it to the local shelter or church; but great organizations around the country deliver meals to their clients on a regular basis. You and your kids could schedule a week night or weekend day to buy groceries, prep sandwiches and sack lunches or deliver meals.
Share Your Time! – visiting with elderly neighbors can really brighten the day of someone who may not enjoy getting out and about, or have as many social interactions as you do. See if there is a residential facility close to your home that would allow guest visitors. You may even have a neighbor who you think could use some extra care. Letting your kids interact with, do small tasks and share stories with older generations is a great way for them to learn. Have your kids ask their new friends if they have any games, crafts or special interests.
Need some help with the planning or ideas? You can always check out what your local HandsOn Network Volunteer Center may have in the works. After volunteering, remember to celebrate your success as a family and take few moments to visit with your kids and ask them how they felt and what they liked about helping others. Ask them if they would like to plan another volunteer day.
Make helping others a regular part of your family time and add it on your calendar, today!