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Volunteering with Your Family

Families spend a lot of time shuttling their children to and from sports, music lessons and other extra-curricular activities.

While these activities are important to your child's development, meaningful activities you can do as a family become even more fulfilling.

Participating in charitable and volunteer activities teaches incredible lessons to your child and it also provides adults time with their family while giving to others.

The things your kids will learn from volunteering:

  • Connection to community
  • Empathy
  • Tolerance
  • Respect
  • Commitment
  • Nurtures family bonds

The good news is that volunteering with your family can be crafted to your needs and comfort level.  We love this simple list of getting your youngest family members started in volunteering today.

Organizations are thrilled with donations that require little hands on time; to large scale, ongoing commitment like running activities and hosting events. Research shows that kids with at least one parent who volunteers are three times more likely to participate in a do-good activity versus those whose parents who don't get involved.

Families can do many volunteer jobs right in their own community. Even the smallest child can pick up garbage at the park, playground, or beach. You don't even have to be part of a big effort to do this. Get your family together, find some garbage bags, and head out.

Getting Your Family Started

A quick internet search will offer up lots of sites for information about volunteer opportunities.  We have gathered a few organizations to get your family started.

  • Charity Navigator -  Collection of organizations across the United States.
  • Causes.com - Comprehensive site filled with great ideas and causes needing assistance globally.
  • Family Volunteering Support  - Website focusing on great causes like Easter Seals, Miracle League and Special Olympics.  Excellent resources for families.
  • Big Hearted Families - Grassroots organization focused on family friendly activities.
  • Family To Family - Non-profit hunger relief program.  Families are connected to families in need.
  • Ample Harvest - Connecting gardeners to easily donate excess garden produce to local food pantries.
  • Food Pantries - List of local food pantries accepting food donations.

Things to Keep in Mind

  1. You will probably be interviewed and asked several questions.  The organization needs to make sure you are a suitable match for you and your family.  This is a good process.  This allows for honest feedback and real experiences that work for everyone.
  2. Some organizations require background check (CORI) when working with children.
  3. Also ask questions of the organization so you are all on the same page and realistic about the opportunity.
  4. Be flexible when offered a volunteer position that isn't your first pick.  Often times the perfect slot may be filled temporarily, but often open up eventually.  It's worth the wait sometimes.

Whatever you choose to do, volunteering and community service can benefit both the community and your family. Get involved today!

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